FC Goa looks to end winless home streak

FC Goa would look to break its winless streak at home when it takes on NorthEast United in an Indian Super League football match at Nehru Stadium here tomorrow.

FC Goa will be looking to break its winless streak at home.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

FC Goa would look to break its winless streak at home when it takes on NorthEast United in an Indian Super League football match at Nehru Stadium here tomorrow.

FC Goa, who is lying at the bottom of the table, was looking to come strongly in the second leg after it beat Pune City FC but its defeat against Kerala Blasters in the last match has placed them in a critical position as it now needs to win all its five remaining matches if it is to qualify for the semifinals.

It has just seven points from nine matches. But the team is seeking inspiration from its first season when it qualified for the semifinals despite all odds.

“Football provides with the inspiration. In football we see everything. In the first season, we were at the bottom of the table but we won six games and qualified with one round to spare. I am not saying that surely we will do it again but we will do everything to make it happen. It still depends entirely on us,” said FC Goa assistant coach Vannucci Fernando during the pre-match media interaction.

FC Goa lost its last match 1-2 against Kerala Blasters after taking the lead and two of its players — captain Gregory Arnolin and Richarlyson Felisbino — were sent off.

They will both miss tomorrow’s game and the team also has injury concerns to take care of. Vanucci, however, remained calm and said whoever takes the field will strive to give his best for the team.

“Even in the loss we played well but in our last match the team did not play to my expectation despite we holding possession and one mistake by our keeper cost us three points and I hope they do not make crucial mistakes that will cost us full points,” said NorthEast United coach Vingada said.

“According to the situation that we are in, this is a crucial match for us. We started the league well but this is football. After a few games, even when we lost, we were performing well but in the last game we were not at the level that I expected,” Vingada added.

“We are working hard to give another image of our team, so it’s important to win. Goa will be missing some players. As a coach, I want the best for NorthEast United.I want my team to beat the best with good football. Some of my players cannot play due to injury and suspension,” added the North East United coach.

“It doesn’t matter who plays. Whoever is there, we will try to win and get the three points that we need,” said Vannucci.

Just like FC Goa, NorthEast United also need the three points to work its way among the top four and fight for a place in semifinal.

In the last game, NorthEast United suffered its third consecutive defeat at home against Mumbai City FC and coach Nelo Vingada made it clear it needs three points to take away from Goa.

NorthEast United is placed fifth with 10 points from eight matches. It collected six points from their first two matches but since then have not lived up to expectations.