ISL: Chennaiyin, Goa lock horns in search of first win

Both Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa are win-less after their first two games and in desperate need of victory to kick-start their season. FC Goa lies at the bottom with no points while the defending champion is sixth with one.

Chennaiyin FC suffered a disappointing 3-1 loss to Delhi Dynamos in its last outing at home. It will look to better that performance as it seeks its first win of the season.   -  PTI

The last time Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa faced each other, they were fighting for the right to be called ISL champion and it was the former who took home the spoils after a dramatic finale.

As they prepare to face each other for the first time in the third edition of the Indian Super League, both are win-less after their first two games and in desperate need of victory to kick-start their season. FC Goa lies at the bottom with no points while defending champion Chennaiyin FC is sixth with one.

FC Goa coach Zico felt his side has been unlucky but expects a change of fortunes soon. “We have not played badly in either of our games but things just haven’t gone our way. We have prepared well so I expect us to turn things around.”

The Gaurs were a free-scoring side last season but have found goals a little hard to come by this time round, having netted just once in the opening two matches. “We have been a little short on luck when it comes to finishing. I think it is about confidence and once we get that, the goals will flow.”

Despite the heart-breaking loss to Chennaiyin FC in the final last season, Zico maintained revenge was not on the team’s mind. “We do not think about that. What’s past is past. We look forward to this as any other game.”

Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi was very disappointed with the loss to Delhi Dynamos last time out and he expects his team to bounce back. “We did not show hunger in the last game. We were awful and I think it was the worst game I have ever had during my time here.”

He added, “If I could change the entire 12 (11 players and himself) from the last game, I would have. But I am allowed only three substitutes!”

Asked whether FC Goa will still have the painful final loss on its minds, Materazzi said, “Of course they will. If you are leading in a cup final with five minutes to go and end up losing, it is hard to forget. I expect them to come out fighting. But we also have the hunger and desire to win, so don’t expect us to hold back either.”

Both teams have no injury concerns and a fully fit squad to choose from. Indian international Robin Singh could be in line for his FC Goa debut after recovering from injury. Materazzi is expected to retain the core of the side that started the first two matches.

  Dugout videos