Postiga’s absence may hamper Atletico’s chances

The former Porto striker injured his hamstring after scoring his second goal in the 3-2 victory over Chennaiyin FC on Saturday, and is likely to miss the next four weeks of action.

Postiga’s absence could give FC Goa the mental edge they need, given that Zico’s men do not possess the best of records against the defending champions.   -  PTI

The unavailability of Helder Postiga will hamper Atletico de Kolkata’s chances, not just when they take on FC Goa here on Wednesday, but in the long run as well. The former Porto striker injured his hamstring after scoring his second goal in the 3-2 victory over Chennaiyin FC on Saturday, and he is likely to miss the next four weeks of action. This was confirmed by Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) coach Antonio Habas at a press conference here on Tuesday.

“The injury to Postiga is quite serious. He will be out for around a month,” Habas said.

Defenders Arnab Mondal and Rino Anto — both called for national duty — will skip this encounter. It is up to the rest of the players — Postiga’s replacement Valdo in particular — to get the job done.

Habas rated FC Goa very high. He explained that paying attention to the little details could make all the difference. “Both teams are pretty evenly matched, so small things like giving away a free-kick could cost you,” he said.

Postiga’s absence could give the home side the mental edge they need, given that Zico’s men do not possess the best of records against the defending champions. The two teams met four times last season, with FC Goa unable to record a win. Zico is not too concerned about past results and views this match as a fresh start.

“We may not have beaten them yet, but that is because we did not have luck on our side. This season, both we and ATK have brought in a lot of new players, so it is a different situation now. As for Postiga being injured, do not forget that Valdo replaced him against Chennaiyin FC and scored. With such quality players around, we cannot take anything for granted,” Zico said.

FC Goa’s display against Delhi Dynamos on Sunday is sure to boost the side’s confidence ahead of this fixture. Wingers Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai harried the defenders, while new marquee player Lucio held firm at the back. Reinaldo da Cruz Oliveira, who scored in the 2-0 win, looks sharp in front of goal. If the players continue to create dangerous chances like they did in the previous match, more positive results are bound to come.

Head to head:

Atletico de Kolkata 0 bt FC Goa 0 (4-2 via penalties — December 17, 2014)

Atletico de Kolkata 0 drew with FC Goa 0 (December 14, 2014)

Atletico de Kolkata 1 drew with FC Goa 1 (December 10, 2014)

Atletico de Kolkata 2 bt FC Goa 1 (October 23, 2014)

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