“All you need is love,” sang the Beatles. For FC Goa going into tomorrow’s game against FC Pune City, three points is all that they will be looking for.
What’s a good time to grab a win? It would be safe to say ‘always’. Then again looking at the season for FC Goa, a win in Tuesday’s game against FC Pune City would be exactly what the doctor would have ordered going into the final two games before the month long break in the ISL.
The Gaurs might not have won any of their last two games, but remain firmly in control of their fate. Boasting the best attack (22 goals in 9 games stand testament to that), Sergio Lobera’s men have time and again showed that they have the ability to make any side in the league look foolish. The Balewadi on Tuesday would prove to be the perfect place and time for Goa to give a lesson in ‘repeating history’.
The last time FC Goa ventured into the city of Pune, the Gaurs went back with a 4-0 win that paved the way for the Gaurs’ road to the playoffs last season. Another three points on Tuesday will open up a four-point gap over fifth-place Jamshedpur FC with a game in hand.
A win will also see Goa move into third place, ahead of NorthEast United, owing to a greater goal difference, having played one lesser game than them.
The challenge ahead
FC Pune City hasn’t had a good time this time around in the ISL. Even though the core of the team that made the semis last year remains the same, the fortunes couldn’t be starker in contrast.
The Stallions have garnered only 8 points from their opening 11 games and seem to be virtually out of the running for the top four. They, however, don’t seem to care much for their place in the table and put together a spirited effort to eke out a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters in their last game.
Pune gave Goa a real run for their money when they last met at the Fatorda. A brilliant save from the penalty spot by Mohammad Nawaz and a second-half surge saw the Gaurs run out 4-2 winners on that night.
The dangerous Emiliano Alfaro may be gone, but in his place, the Stallions have now added the highest ever goal scorer in ISL history, Iain Hume. The face-off is certain to be another intriguing one.
Stats and facts