ISL 2018: FC Goa, Northeast United out to end year on winning note

FC Goa and NorthEast United will look to secure a win in what will be their last match before the international break, when the two sides clash in the Indian Super League on Friday.

FC Goa's Ferran Corominas participates in a training session ahead of his side's Indian Super League clash against NorthEast United FC.   -  ISL MEDIA

It will be a battle of the league's two leading strikers, Ferran Corominas and Bartholomew Ogbeche, when FC Goa hosts NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League on Friday.

Corominas and Ogbeche have been in fine form this season and both have scored eight goals each.

“Coro is an important player for us, not just because he has scored eight goals but also because he has five assists. If you look at the list of players who have scored goals and assisted in that manner, I don't think there are many,” said FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera.

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Interestingly, neither Corominas nor Ogbeche has managed to find the back of the net in their last three matches and both FC Goa and NorthEast United are winless in their last three games.

Having scores eight goals so far this season, NorthEast United FC's Bartholomew Ogbeche tops the goal-scoring charts along with Ferran Corominas.   -  ISL MEDIA

“Fundamentally, we haven't been scoring a lot of goals (in the last few games). We need to learn and improve from our mistakes and it needs to serve us a lesson for the rest of our games,” added Lobera.

Despite this, FC Goa has scored 22 goals – the most this season. NorthEast hasn’t been as prolific but its goal difference is the same as that of its opponent – six.

NorthEast is unbeaten in five away games and has dropped only two points from a possible 15 on the road. The Highlanders boasts a tight defence, having let in only nine goals so far.

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“I have my own problems. We started the season with 22 players but at the moment I have 17. From 17, (the fitness of) two is questionable. We played five games in the last week and from that we suffered injuries,” said head coach Eelco Schattorie.

“At the same time, Goa lost their playmaker (Ahmed Jahouh) and I'm happy with that. Also, they lost their last game, which puts them under pressure but I'm more worried looking at our team,” Schattorie added.

Rowllin Borges will have a crucial role to play in midfield as he returns to his old stomping ground. The midfielder has quickly established himself as one of the mainstays of the NorthEast contingent. It remains to be seen if Goa can go all out and chase a victory before the international break or if Schattorie’s troop emerges victorious.