ISL 2020-21 Preview: Chennaiyin FC takes on FC Goa in must-win encounter

Even a win for Chennaiyin might not put guarantee it a place in the playoffs. However, a defeat against Goa will be curtains for Chennaiyin.

Chennaiyin FC is virtually out of the playoffs race in this edition of the Indian Super League.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Chennaiyin FC is virtually out of the playoffs race in this edition of the Indian Super League. The two-time champion has had its chances but failed to make them count. Its opponent on Saturday at the GMC Stadium, FC Goa, will have the upper-hand despite Chennaiyin putting it across the Gaurs in their previous encounter.

Even a win for Chennaiyin might not put it in a favourable position as it needs other results to go its way. However, a defeat against Goa will be curtains for Chennaiyin.

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Csaba Laszlo, Chennaiyin's head coach, put up a brave front. “We had a big chance to win the game against Jamshedpur. They had just one shot on target, but unfortunately, we conceded an own goal and lost a game at the last minute. This is very painful because we had good chances to score and win the game. But we have to take it how it is, and we have to concentrate on the next three games. It is most important that we go out against Goa and play for the club and show that we are still a good team,” he said. Chennaiyin’s lack of goals has hurt the team to no end. It hasn’t scored in 10 of the 17 games it has played this season.

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With five consecutive draws, Goa hasn’t been spectacular but has fought with spirit more often than not. Especially the way it played against Mumbai City FC (for the 3-3 draw) in the last match, after being down for pretty much the entire duration of the contest.

For Goa’s coach Juan Ferrando, the target is simple. A victory here will be a huge step towards qualification for playoffs. “This team is working hard in training and matches,” he said. “The most important thing is our players have a strong personality and they want to win all the time. I'm very happy because when the score isn't good or when we are in a difficult moment, they keep going and display a strong mentality.”

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On the defeat to Chennaiyin in the previous match, Ferrando said: “I remember (in the first game) against Chennaiyin, we had only two days to prepare for the game,” he said. "The team was very tired. Now the players may be tired but the mentality is different. We are more prepared. Sometimes we get it wrong in transitions, but it is better in the last few games.”