ISL: Free-scoring Goa aims to go the distance

After becoming the first Indian club to qualify to the AFC Champions League, FC Goa will aim to win the Indian Super League for the first time.

FC Goa finished with 46 goals – the most in a single season in ISL’s brief history.

FC Goa finished with 46 goals – the most in a single season in ISL’s brief history.   -  ISL Sportzpics

FC Goa has been relentless in its goal-scoring form – 21 goals in five matches – as it sealed the top spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) league stage. The late goal sprout meant it finished with 46 goals – the most in a single season in the league’s brief history.

Goa, which finished runner-up in the final last season, endured a shaky start to the season with just two wins from the first six matches. It also had to contend with injuries to key player Ferran Corominas and suspensions to Hugo Boumous (2 matches), Ahmed Jahouh (3 matches), Seiminlen Doungel (3 matches) and Mourtada Fall (1 match).

In the 12 remaining matches, Goa picked up 10 wins with just two defeats (away to Bengaluru FC and ATK). In the process, the Gaurs became the first Indian team to qualify for the AFC Champions League group stages.

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Much of Goa’s success would be attributed to its sustained playing style and continuity in playing staff by retaining the core foreign and Indian players. Spaniard Sergio Lobera, who joined in 2017, was a big part to the club’s emergence as a force in Indian football.

However, the club decided to sack Lobera when the team was on top of the table with just three matches remaining in the league stage. The hierarchy’s decision was vindicated when it retained its position without much trouble. The job is still incomplete with an ISL championship to fight for and it remains to be seen how the club fares against its top four rivals in the playoffs.

Player to watch out for: Hugo Boumous

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Hugo Boumous (right) has scored 11 while setting up 10 – the first player to do in ISL – in the league stages.   -  ISL Sportzpics

 

It’s a difficult task to upstage teammate Corominas but attacking midfielder Hugo Boumous has done so with his outputs this season. The Frenchman has scored 11 while setting up 10 – the first player to do in ISL – in the league stages. The 24-year-old’s performances have meant a reduced role for Edu Bedia, who was a regular feature in the XI in the past two seasons. 

 

Stats2018-192019-20
Goals scored4146
Goals conceded2323
Clean sheets85
Passes111568689
Shots325253
Touches1399211334
Tackles599674

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