The Look Ahead: In pursuit of happiness

Happiness: Something we wish for every year as we blow out the candles on our birthday cake. We travel halfway across the globe in the hope of experiencing it. And for millions, we slave away in our cubicle in the name of it.

On Friday, when FC Goa takes to the field against NorthEast United, a simple three points would bring about happiness. Three games without a win and two without scoring a goal. For a side that lit up the Indian Super League side with much oomph, the wait for another three-point plunder seems to be way too long.

Heading into their last game of the year, Goa will look to bring home the joys moving into the festive season and give their fans an early Christmas present before the mid-season break.

The presence of Coro, Edu Bedia and Hugo Boumous alongside Indian stalwarts like Jackichand Singh and Lenny Rodrigues shows that the side doesn’t lack quality. A comeback to winning ways should not be a surprise to many.

The challenge ahead

The challenge will be a tough one. There are no two-ways about it. NorthEast, surprisingly, have punched above their weight and look to be one of the favourites to finish in the top four.

Led by eight-goal man Bartholomew Ogbeche, the Highlanders have time and again shown that they have a real sting in their tail. He will, of course be up against Goa’s very own Coro. The Spaniard has netted the same number of goal albeit having played 2 games less.

The trio of Federico Gallegan, Jose Leudo and Rowllin Borges in the centre of midfield has been a huge reason for NorthEast’s success so far. However, up against the probable Goan triumvirate of of Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous and Lenny Rodrigues, this is certain to be one of the toughest challenges they will face.

With Eelco Shcattorie at the helm, NorthEast is currently feeding off the confidence gained by their recent results. They are unbeaten in their last five games. However, their last three games have been draws.

Goa, on the other hand remains unbeaten at home against the Highlanders. And on Friday, this will be a record they would look to preserve.

Stats and facts

  • The last two games between the sides have finished in a 2-2 draw.
  • The sides have met 9 times before with FC Goa coming on top on 3 occasions. NorthEast have won twice while 4 games have ended up in draws.
  • Coro has scored 3 times in the last 2 games against NorthEast.
  • Goa’s biggest win over NorthEast came in 2014 when Romeo Fernandes, Miroslav Slepicka and Andre Santos scored to help the Gaurs to a 3-0 win.