ISL: Goa aim to arrest slide as Odisha look to steady ship

Bambolim, Jan 31 (Football News) Winless in four games, FC Goa will be eager to arrest the slide when they take on Odisha FC, who will also be keen to steady their ship, in the Indian Super League here on Tuesday.

FC Goa are sitting in ninth position with 14 points from as many games. They have to start winning matches if they are to push for a playoffs spot but in Odisha, who are one rung above them, they will face an opponent who will harbour similar thoughts.

Odisha have had a mixed bag this season, starting on a good note before tapering off in the middle. With 17 points from 13 matches, they still have time to fight for a playoff spot, and a win on Tuesday would put them back in the fray.

For Goa, the lack of finishing has been a problem as they have created more chances and attempted more shots than any other team this season.

Goa also hold the record for most crosses in a single game this season. They attempted 31 crosses against SC East Bengal, the joint highest attempted by a team in a single game this season alongside ATK Mohun Bagan.

Brandon Fernandes played for Goa in the last game, and coach Derrick Pereira said he is one of the key players in the side and they are happy to have him back.

"He makes a difference. Going forward, his performances will give us better options and in creating more chances. He has been an integral part of the team and brings in that quality to our team," Pereira said.

Odisha have been among the goals and their ability to score late goals should make coach Kino Garcia happy.

Jonathas also got back among goals in the last game and it was Odisha's ninth goal in the last 15 minutes of a game this season. With four goals, only Aridai Cabrera (5) has scored more for Odisha this season besides Jonathas.

Indian players Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Nandhakumar Sekar have been putting in some impressive performances of late.

"The last matches, we have been playing well. We didn't win or get points but the performance was quite good. The positives are that the team is brave to try things we are doing in training. We are trying to create more chances by keeping the ball," said Garcia.

"So the attitude of the players is good. It will be a tough game. Goa doesn't deserve to be where they are. They are playing quite well. They also want to keep the ball. So we need to close down the spaces. They have really good players," he added. 

Also Read : Have Real Madrid made a mistake by not signing a back up right back?

News Source : PTI


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