AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT Sports Editor
BAMBOLIM: FC Goa need to recover from their first defeat while Delhi Dynamos will look to register their first win as the two teams play each other in the third match of Indian Super League (ISL) 5 at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda today.
Losing 1-4 is part of football. Getting out is beautiful while being there is a journey into bliss. FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos will not throw caution to the wind when they play each other on Thursday as a defeat could be negative for both. Therefore, caution will be the buzz word.
FC Goa have been on a scoring high while Delhi Dynamos have started scoring in their last match against Jamshedpur FC – who gave FC Goa a pinch on their bottom. Coro is back for the hosts while Delhi Dynamos have players who have recovered from injury. So, excuses aside, the football could well be different from the past.
FC Goa have won sixteen games, lost eleven and drew nine home games out of the 36 hosted by the Nehru stadium in Fatorda till date. Between these two teams, FC Goa have won five, lost twice and drawn once. Both teams inflicted 5-1 defeats on each other, away in New Delhi both times, and yet it appears the two will not be risking losing against each other today.
FC Goa will start with the same defensive line up and are expected to rely on Ahmed Jahouh, Edu Bedia and Lenny Rodrigues to continue controlling the pace of the game with their box to box style of play. Jackichand Singh will be expected to cut ripples through the Delhi Dynamos defence and will need to be extra smart in foxing Albino Gomes in the Dynamos goal. Jackichand who was one of the probables selected for the India camp is back with the team, according to coach Sergio.
“We have decided to give Albino a chance in goal because in this way we can play another foreign player on the field,” explained Dynamos coach Josep Gombau. Albino played his first game for Delhi against Jamshedpur during the second half of the game and finished with a rating of 5.87- the highest amongst the three goalkeepers that evening.
FC Goa’s game against Delhi Dynamos is not going to be about how FC Goa play with or without Coro but about how Sergio Lobera motivates his boys to keep the memories of Jamshedpur behind and start afresh. FC Goa are not about Coro or Coro is not about FC Goa. The team talks and that language can be best understood by the coach.
“It is evident that Corominas is a very important player for us and it’s 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 Sergio during a pre-match press conference.
Captain Mandar Rao Desai is still to have a captain’s game for FC Goa. This could well be the day he is waiting for. Seriton Fernandes has been making strides on the flanks and could well end up on a party in Fatorda. “We are not changing our style of play,” admitted Sergio.
Romeo Fernandes has been with Delhi Dynamos for the second year running and may get an opportunity to play against FC Goa. Romeo, who is recovering from a finger injury, has travelled with the team. “I am not sure whether he will play for sure tomorrow. It is too early to take a call,” stated Josep.
Delhi Dynamos has scored four goals in Goa while FC Goa managed to score five against the team from New Delhi at the Fatorda stadium so far.
GRASS IS GREEN
ROMEO: Will he play or won’t he? This question will be in many minds as they flock to the Nehru stadium in Fatorda to watch FC Goa play Delhi Dynamos. Romeo gained stardom through ISL when he was part of FC Goa under coach Zico. The youngsters from Ambelim had the ability to create magical moments with the ball when Zico was coach of FC Goa. Played on and off with other coaches.
JACKICHAND SINGH: Was amongst the thirty probables picked by India coach Stephen Constantine for a friendly against Jordan. Is one of the star Indian players in the FC Goa set up and FC Goa will consider themselves lucky to have him back. Has scored for his team by being at the right place, at the right time and provided assists to his colleagues to score.
MANDAR RAO DESAI: Mandar will be playing opposite his former colleague Romeo – if he passes the fitness test. The duo created a combination during their days with FC Goa. They were the crowd favourites and Mandar still enjoys a rapport with the fans. Has still not shone but is capable of breaking free any time. Despite playing in the defence, Mandar can make room for himself in the flanks and has the ability to shoot from far.
ALBINO GOMES: Albino could not play for a major part of ISL last season due to injury. Has regained form but lost the first slot to Francisco Dorronsoro who has been with the team from last season. Albino played a crucial role as goalkeeper for Aizawl FC when they won the I-League. Injury has kept Albino quiet. Albino got his first chance against Jamshedpur FC and his performance could seal his place in the playing eleven.