Goa hope to clinch semis spot against Blasters

With their last two games not going the way they would have liked, FC Goa are focused on winning their 13th round Indian Super League game against Kerala Blasters and seal their semi-final berth at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday evening.

FC Goa's 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters earlier this season has been described as their "toughest match" so far by assistant coach Fernando Vanucci.   -  ISL SPORTZPICS

With their last two games not going the way they would have liked, FC Goa are focused on winning their 13th round Indian Super League game against Kerala Blasters and seal their semi-final berth at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday evening.

The visitors are well aware that despite sitting pretty on the third rung, with 19 points, just three points separate them from fifth-placed Chennaiyin FC.

However, the touring side made it clear that though the Blasters were at the bottom in the eight-team table with 12 points, they could be tough customers.

“Despite our two big losses against Chennaiyin and Kolkata (both 4-0), I think the game against Kerala in the first leg (which Goa won 2-1) was our most difficult,” explained Fernando Vannucci, the Goa assistant coach, on Saturday.

“Kerala played a great game against us earlier and we have to take a lot of care because they are capable of doing great things tomorrow.”

Vannucci said that Goa, who are coached by Brazilian great Zico, would be going with an attacking mindset.

“The philosophy of our coach is always to look to score goals and look for a result. That’s our style of playing. And we hope to get into the last four and then to the final with our style.”

Meanwhile, the home side also made it clear that they would be pushing for a victory, now that they cannot sink any further.

With this season producing some strange twists and turns, with even the bottom boys jolting the top teams, the Blasters’ head coach Terry Phelan and assistant coach Trevor Morgan, have not lose hope yet.

“Obviously, to win games you have to score goals and you should not concede silly goals like we did earlier. But we still have great hope, we have two more games and we can win them. We go with plenty of confidence and hopefully, we can get three points,” said Phelan.

The home side has lost key men like Carlos Marchena, Sanchez Watt, Marcus Williams and Gurwinder Singh to injuries and the delay in bringing replacements has hit the squad hard but Morgan said he would not blame that for the current mess the team is in.

The home boys will have to keep a close watch on Goa’s Brazilian midfielder Leo Moura, who has been offering plenty of assists to the men in the front, and also hope that their own striker Antonio German, who has been in decent form in the last few games, turns in an impressive performance in their last home match this season.

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