FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC clash in an all-important match which will decide the final playoff spot in the Hero Indian Super League. A draw will be enough for Goa since it's already a point ahead of the host. If it loses, Steve Coppell's side will seal a remarkable achievement in its first season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur, on Sunday.
"In a strange sort of way, I am happy that we have to win to go through because that way there is no doubt in our mind. If we would have been able to qualify with a draw, all of a sudden human nature means you try and protect what you have and I don't think that really suits us. The results in midweek mean that we have only one goal in mind and we have only one way we can play. We simply have to win to qualify," said Jamshedpur head coach Steve Coppell.
The Englishman left no doubts that his team will go for the victory. The previous fixture between the two sides ended 2-1 in favour of Goa at the Nehru Stadium in Goa.
"Do we need to get better in front of goal? Obviously, that has been the case all season. More potential and more fire-power in front of goal. It's not the strikers' fault, but the team's responsibility to create chances and score goals and we have to correct that for tomorrow," he said.
Goa meanwhile is back to its best. It has scored nine goals in the last two matches, trouncing impressive FC Pune City 4-0 away before beating defending champion ATK 5-1 at home. Goa had not defeated ATK since the league’s inception in 2014.
"I know a draw is enough for us but once we try and play for a draw, we end up losing the game. So we do our best to try and win the match," Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said. If Goa win, they can finish second due to their record against Pune City.
Goa has a few niggles but Lobera wouldn't elaborate on which players were doubtful for the crunch match.
"They're a defensively well-structured team and comfortable with their style of play. They deserve to be in a situation where they can fight for the semifinals," Lobera said about Jamshedpur.
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