Goa keen to bounce back, Delhi hunts for first win

FC Goa striker Ferran Corominas will return after serving a one-match suspension.

FC Goa players train ahead of their match against Delhi Dynamos.   -  ISL Media

FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera will demand a response from his side when it takes on Delhi Dynamos in an Indian Super League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.

The Goan outfit suffered a 4-1 defeat in Jamshedpur which ended its unbeaten start to the season.

Lobera admitted that the performance was the “worst” he has seen in his tenure as it came out second best in every department.

“This is possibly the worst defeat of Goa under my coaching. We have to work hard and improve,” the Spaniard said.

However, the Spanish coach will take heart from the fact that it is playing in front of its fans given the 100 per cent record it enjoys this season on home soil.

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The good news for Goa is the return of star striker Ferran Corominas after serving his one-match suspension. His presence will bolster its attack given the lethal form he is in with six goals and four assists in 350 minutes.

“It is evident that Corominas is a very important player for us and its good news that he will be back for us. But if you rely so much on one individual then it’s unlikely that you will win a lot of things. We need to overcome adversities with or without the players,” said Lobera.

It will be interesting to see if Lobera decides to change personnel in key positions especially with attacking midfielder Brandon Fernandes getting back to full fitness.

The game against Delhi Dynamos will also see Goa’s very own Romeo Fernandes return to Fatorda. The winger, who enjoyed a purple patch under Zico, joined Delhi last season and since then, his form has been patchy. It remains to be seen if Fernandes, who has travelled with the team will start as he has only just recovered from a finger injury.

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Delhi Dynamos coach Josep Gombau will be pleased with his team’s performance for a period of 15 minutes in the second half against Jamshedpur FC where it managed to score twice. He took the gamble of fielding Albino Gomes in between the sticks at half-time and preferred to play more foreign outfield players.

Whether or not Gombau chooses to take the game to Goa from the outset remains to be seen. Mumbai City FC had adopted a similar approach but its woeful finishing coupled with the gaps left behind in defence allowed Goa to ship five past it.

“It’s true that Goa are very good at attacking football. If they catch us open, they can play between the lines and punish us. It will be a good game as both the teams like to play good football,” said Gombau.

In seven matches this season, Delhi hasn't been at its best. Gombau will hope that it is eighth time lucky. After dropping down to the fourth spot in the league table, a win will take Goa back to pole position.