Analysis: Dissecting the goalkeepers of FC Goa for ISL 2020-21

posted in Contributors by Khel Now on 20th November 2020

posted in Contributors

by Khel Now

on 20th November 2020

Analysis: Dissecting the goalkeepers of FC Goa for ISL 2020-21

FC Goa might be renowned for their scintillating attacking football that has sparked up the Indian Super League (ISL) over the years, but they’ve also established an impressive core of goalkeepers. The Gaurs’ custodians have taken big leaps forward to creating a domestic core capable of matching up against the best ISL sides.

While Mohammed Nawaz remains their undisputed no.1 after his excellent performances in the last campaign, there are a few promising options awaiting if a change is required. Be it an experienced keeper in Naveen Kumar or young guns Shubham Dhas and Antonio D’Silva, Juan Ferrando has a number of options to choose from. Let’s take a look at what the Gaurs’ goalkeeping department has to offer this season.

Mohammad Nawaz

After his breakthrough in the 2018-19 campaign, Mohammad Nawaz put up a number of good performances in FC Goa’s excellent 2019-20 season. The 20-year-old was among the best goalkeepers in the league and maintained the third best defensive record with 29 goals conceded in 20 games, despite Goa’s proactive attacking style causing more pressure on him.

Nawaz kept five clean sheets and averaged over two saves per game thanks to his excellent reflexes and athleticism to parry out vicious shots on target. But apart from his shot-stopping ability, it was Nawaz’s amazing distribution ability which caught many eyes. He averaged 85.12% passing accuracy, among the very best for any goalkeeper in the ISL last season.

Nawaz momentarily struggled in dealing with physicality last season. He occasionally tends to fumble high crosses or struggles to make convincing clearances in difficult scenarios. As long as the opponent doesn’t go the route one way, Nawaz should continue excelling in the league with his proactive style.

Naveen Kumar

The senior-most goalkeeper in FC Goa acts as the idea competition for Nawaz, keeping him on his toes all the time. The 31-year-old has been playing at the highest level of Indian football for almost a decade now and has a ton of experience to offer at FC Goa.

During the 2018-19 season, Naveen kept four clean sheets from 13 appearances. He impressed then-head coach Sergio Lobera with his swift reflexes. However, the 31-year-old is error-prone at times and struggles with collecting high crosses which caused him some problems as the first choice keeper for FC Goa. However, as the second choice, he’s a solid option who could be called upon whenever required.

Shubham Dhas

The former first choice keeper of the Gaurs’ reserves side that featured prominently in the I-League second division and Goa Pro League over the last few seasons, Dhas has earned a place in the ISL squad after his impressive work for the team. A towering goalkeeper with the ability to pull off clutch saves with his impressive work in goal, Dhas has proven his reliability.

Of course, due to his inexperience, Dhas is still quite indecisive coming out of his line and making key clearances whenever required. Unlike Nawaz, he can’t act like a sweeper keeper and struggles with high balls. But working under the promising goalkeepers around him, Dhas should keep excelling with the Gaurs this season.

Antonio D’Silva

The youngest and most inexperienced goalkeeper in the squad, Antonio D’Silva has been kept to be groomed as a potential future option. He is quite opposite of Dhas in terms of his playstyle, being quite swift and agile with his work off-the-line but a bit weary with his decision making under the bars.

D’Silva hasn’t featured much for FC Goa reserves in the GPL or Second Division League. However, working under Virender Singh this season, he should get rid of his mistakes and slowly unlock his true potential to climb the ranks in the Gaurs’ goalkeeping department.

*This article first appeared on our content partner’s website, www.khelnow.com and has been republished as is. This does not necessarily represent the viewpoint of FC Goa.