FC Goa go into the game against Jamshedpur FC on Saturday with an eye at qualifying for the semi-finals of the Super Cup for a second time in a row. Standing in front of them are familiar foes, Jamshedpur FC.
The two teams squared off at the same stage in the competition last season in one of the most unique affairs seen in Indian football. A scuffle at the halftime eventually led to 6 players being sent off and the second half of the match was interestingly played 8 on 8.
The Gaurs eventually ran out 5-1 winners on the day, but the flurry of suspension eventually worsened their chances in the semi-final clash.
The Challenge Ahead
Jamshedpur FC are much changed from the side that lost all three times the teams took to the pitch last season. Under Cesar Ferrando and a new set of players, they have had a changed outlook. With a Spanish-heavy foreign contingent, the Steelmen have looked to play with the ball much more - resulting is some brilliant displays.
All this, however, failed to bring them their first playoff berth as they finished 5th for the second time in as many seasons.
Their record this season against FC Goa has, though, been impressive. Jamshedpur, in fact, inflicted on Goa, their biggest defeat this season when they were able to beat the Gaurs 4-1 on their home turf. They followed that up with a goalless draw at the Fatorda Stadium to remain unbeaten against Goa so far this season.
The Gaffer’s Call
This season Super Cup has made the headlines for a number of reasons. And unfortunately, they have largely been issues off the field.
FC Goa’s Assistant Coach Jesus Tato, though, reaffirmed that the Gaurs are committed towards trying to win this trophy and bring the season to an end in the best possible manner.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the Spaniard stated, “After the ISL, we were really looking forward to this competition, especially after the disappointing ending. All the staff and the players are working very hard. Everyone could see it in the way we played against the Indian Arrows.”
This has been another brilliant season for Coro as the FC Goa talisman has gone on to not only bag the Golden Boot in the ISL for the second year running but was also awarded the Golden Ball as a recognition of his brilliant play. The Spaniard though hasn’t had equivalent success against all.
Just like eventual ISL winners Bengaluru FC, the 37-year-old has failed to find the back of the net against Jamshedpur. But Tato exuded confidence on Coro’s abilities, saying, “We know that situation but it was only one game. What we are able to do is create a lot of chances and usually Coro scores a lot of times but we couldn't do it in the final. But that is not a big problem. We have to keep faith in our philosophy of play as that is what will eventually propel us further.”