ISL: Lucian Goian earns former team-mate Amrinder's praise ahead of reunion

Chennaiyin FC defender Lucian Goian's professionalism has earned the praise of his former team-mate and Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh ahead of Friday's reunion in ISL.

Amrinder Singh and Lucian Goian

Mumbai City captain Amrinder Singh and his former team-mate Lucian Goian have a conversation post-match.   -  ISL Sportzpics

Lucian Goian is a former teammate worthy of respect and friendship for most Mumbai City FC players. From forward Modou Sougou to gaolkeeper Amrinder Singh, the hard-nosed Romainan is a familiar face at the Mumbai Football Arena. As a committed and dogged defender, the former played his part in ISL 2016-17 when the blues topped the league stage, and made their first-ever semifinal appearance before losing to ATK in the semifinals.

In season six Goian will be wearing Chennaiyin FC colours on Friday night as he stands in Mumbai City’s path as it chases a win at all costs in the race to finish among the top four.

Read: Chennaiyin shocks ATK, keeps playoff chance alive

The 37-year-old is remembered for the rapport struck with the squad over three seasons at MCFC from 2016 onwards when Alexandre Guimaraes was chief coach.

Off-field friends

Amrinder, closest to the Romanian on the pitch, remembers: “We trusted each other when playing together and became friends off the field. Now he is with another team, trying hard to win for his side, like I am for mine.”

Goian’s communication skill caught the team management’s attention and pitchforked him to captaincy. The India goalkeeper pointed out: “He is a good talker and is interested in listening to what his teammates wish to say. On the pitch, he is extremely competitive and our understanding was based on trust in each other.”

Amrinder named Best Goalkeeper in 2016-17 now wears the captain’s armband for the home team.

Positive and negative

Goian often advanced into the rival goalmouth during corner-kicks and sometimes overlapped to finish off moves. The Mumbai City custodian is ready for such surprise visits by the Romanian for CFC. “It is a positive thing for a defender to do. But there is a negative side to this. We can take advantage if he does not get back into position in time.”

Amrinder also talked about the Romanian’s interest in reciting the Jana Gana Mana before kick-off. “He talked about this wish in his second season in ISL and had memorised it before the next season started. Goian would stand next to me and sing our National anthem. Aa an Indian, I felt proud that a close friend from another country is able to do this.”

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