FC Goa eye return to summit in showdown against Hyderabad FC

posted in Match Preview by FC Goa Official on 31st January 2024

posted in Match Preview

by FC Goa Official

on 31st January 2024

FC Goa eye return to summit in showdown against Hyderabad FC

As the ongoing 2023-24 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) enters its second leg, FC Goa gear up for a pivotal clash against Hyderabad FC at the latter’s home turf, the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Thursday.

The kick-off for the clash is scheduled for 8:00 pm IST, and both teams, albeit facing contrasting fortunes in the league thus far, will be equally keen to to assert their dominance and restart their campaign on a strong note.

With 24 points from 10 matches, FC Goa enter this clash as a formidable force, poised to showcase their attacking prowess and defensive resilience. The stakes are high as they aim to reclaim the summit of the ISL standings and continue their pursuit of silverware.

The hosts, meanwhile, are languishing at the bottom of the table with just four points from 11 matches and are yet to register their maiden win of the season. Their performances in the recent Kalinga Super Cup, however, were promising and the Nizams would look to do more of the same now in the ISL.

The Gaffer Speaks

FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez acknowledged the significance of the upcoming fixture, at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow will be a tough game,” he said. “Hyderabad FC played well recently in the Super Cup, except for in the match against Sreenidi Deccan FC. They were winning against Mohun Bagan Super Giant at one point and lost narrowly against East Bengal FC. They will be very competitive against us and will try to maintain their resolve.

“I know that we will be travelling to their backyard for a difficult match. We know, more or less, as to who all will be playing, and their eleven that eventually starts will be competitive,” the tactician further added.

The Task Ahead

FC Goa find itself in a prime position in the league standings, trailing leaders Kerala Blasters by a mere two points. A victory on Thursday would not only propel the Gaurs back to the top of the table but also reaffirm their title aspirations for the season.

Marquez and his boys would hence hope to bring home all three points on Thursday and carry the winning momentum forward, with important games against Odisha FC, Mohun Bagan Super Giant, NorthEast United FC, Mumbai City FC, Kerala Blasters FC and so on coming up for them.

The return of former Nizams Odei Onaindia, Mohammad Yasir and Borja Herrera to the city adds an intriguing subplot to the match. The Men in Orange additionally completed the signing of another ex-Hyderabad star in Nim Dorjee Tamang on Wednesday.