FC Goa face Bengaluru FC with aim to maintain winning momentum

posted in Match Preview by FC Goa Official on 24th October 2023

posted in Match Preview

by FC Goa Official

on 24th October 2023

FC Goa face Bengaluru FC with aim to maintain winning momentum

With three wins in three matches and sitting comfortably on second place in the league table, FC Goa will now look to build on their solid start in ISL 2023-24 as they take on Bengaluru FC in yet another away clash on Wednesday.

The encounter, set to happen at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, will kick-off at 8:00 pm IST.

Following two wins at home – against Punjab FC and Odisha FC – Manolo Marquez’s boys travelled away for the first time this league season last week, eventually registering a remarkable comeback victory against East Bengal FC where they scored twice in two minutes in the second half to overcome the damages of an early strike by the Kolkata outfit.

Coincidentally, Bengaluru FC also played their most recent match against the same opposition, with the Blues scripting a win identical to that of the Gaurs.

Currently in ninth place, Simon Grayson and co lost their previous two games before getting past East Bengal’s challenge. As shown against them, the former ISL Cup winners are a force to reckon with at home and could pose a strong challenge for FC Goa.

The Men in Orange will miss the services of winger Noah Sadaoui, who sustained an injury minutes prior to kick-off against the Red and Gold Brigade. The likes of Carlos Martinez and Victor Rodriguez are, however, poised to make sure that the team are in safe hands and will leave no stone unturned in their search for all three points at the Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.

The Gaffer Speaks

FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez is satisfied with the team’s mentality that helped them script back-to-back comeback victories in the league. That said, the Spaniard also stresses that the team has and should show the quality to avoid such situations in the first place.

“In terms of results, this cannot be better,” he said, commenting on the start the Gaurs have had to their league campaign, at the pre-match press conference on Monday.

“The team seems to be playing better when we are losing, when we are under pressure, and there seems to be a need to show that we can play good football. We have enough quality to avoid such situations.”

When asked about their upcoming assignment against Bengaluru FC, the 55-year-old said, “The league is a tough competition and Bengaluru will be another very good opponent. They have the same coach (from last season), good results, but even at the cost of being repetitive, I would say every game is tough.

“After we won, look at the next two games – both draws, and all four teams had chances of winning. It’s very close. Many games have been decided by just one goal.”

Is he worried about the winning streak ending unexpectedly? “You can’t win all games”, Marquez said, reminding what a lot of coaches often say, “once you win, win, win, defeat is always around the corner. Sooner or later, Goa will drop points.

“In my opinion, you can see if you have a good team after a defeat. When you lose a game, if the team reacts very well, it means you have a good team, great character, good mentality,” he further added.

Carlos Martinez’ thoughts

“The experience has been good till now,” Spanish striker Carlos Martinez, who accompanied Coach Manolo Marquez to the pre-match press conference, said. “Goa is a good place to live, people are kind to me, and they try to help all the time. It’s easy for me to adapt. I decided to come here since I’ve followed the league for some time now. I have a lot of friends who played here.

“I was thinking of renewing with FC Andorra (in the Spanish Segunda Division) when Manolo called me. I know his stature in Indian football. After speaking with him, and the players who are here, I decided to come here and take up a new challenge. Manolo’s words were very important,” the 37-year-old revealed.

Since joining the Gaurs, Martinez has notched four goals and two assists in eight matches, including the lone strike that spearheaded the team’s win in their ISL campaign opener against Punjab FC.

“These are good stats, numbers to start, but most important is for the team to win. We are working everyday to improve and get better. We are playing good games. Winning three games in a row is very difficult. We are scoring goals, and need to take advantage of the start that we have.

“In the next game, we have to go to Bengaluru to win,” Carlos Martinez concluded.