FC Goa push for table domination, Bengaluru FC up next

posted in Match Preview by FC Goa Official on 13th March 2024

posted in Match Preview

by FC Goa Official

on 13th March 2024

FC Goa push for table domination, Bengaluru FC up next

FC Goa may have qualified for the playoffs in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season, but will not settle for just any spot in the next stage of the competition.

With four matches left in their league campaign, the Men in Orange are still in the hunt for the title. Though they are currently in fourth place on the standings, only six points separate them from leaders Mumbai City FC who have played an additional game.

Hence, on Thursday, when they face Bengaluru FC at home, the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Manolo Marquez and his boys will settle for nothing less than all three points, in a bid to try and catch up with the teams above them.

The Task Ahead

After an incredible start to the season, FC Goa hit a slight slump recently when they suffered three straight defeats against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC. While the reaction to these losses have not been as great as the team’s fans may have liked, they have managed to stay unbeaten across the three games since – with away draws against Mumbai City and Punjab FC and a home victory over East Bengal FC.

The Gaurs will now look to extend this unbeaten run, and do better compared to their most recent stalemate against Punjab, by getting back to winning ways against Bengaluru FC.

Currently on 33 points from 18 matches, a victory will help the Goan outfit climb to third place, and even second if they manage to win by more than a handful of goals.

The clash is equally important for the visitors as well, as they are locked in a five-way battle for sixth place on the table, which is also the final spot for the knockout stages.

With 21 points, the Blues are in eighth, but three points will be more than enough for them to leapfrog Punjab and Jamshedpur FC to take them to the safe zone, at least for the time being.

The Gaffer Speaks

At the pre-match press conference on Wednesday, FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez emphasized the need for consistency from his players ahead of the crucial matches coming up.

“My opinion is that we’re losing more than dropping points when playing the best football at this moment in the competition. We had a good first half against Kerala and Punjab, and had a good game in total at Mumbai and on the other day versus East Bengal.

“This lack of consistency is hence punishing our team. I keep saying this – in the regular season, you will finish exactly where you deserve,” he said, implying that the team needs to up the ante if they aim to finish higher up the table and compete for the top honours.

“The team is more offensive now, and we are arriving in good positions,” the Spaniard added, shedding light on the positives.

“Maybe we are more clear now in terms of trying to attack. However, it is not about this player or that player. It is about the team in general. We have a good balance in both attack and defence. We want to finish as high as possible in the league table,” he concluded.