FC Goa eye consecutive victories as they face Odisha FC in high-stakes encounter

posted in Match Preview by FC Goa Official on 6th October 2023

posted in Match Preview

by FC Goa Official

on 6th October 2023

FC Goa eye consecutive victories as they face Odisha FC in high-stakes encounter

Following their hard-fought victory against Punjab FC on Monday, FC Goa will gear up for action once again in the Indian Super League on Saturday as they lock horns with Odisha FC.

A special clash is what is on the cards for Manolo Marquez and co, as they look to take on the Kalinga Warriors. Playing at home, the Men in Orange will aim for nothing less than the three points as they look to build on the solid start they have made with the win in their campaign opener earlier this week.

The upcoming match is quite noteworthy to many names in the Odisha roster as well. Head coach Sergio Lobera was once at the helm of FC Goa, leading them to success in the Super Cup in the 2018-19 season and the ISL Shield the following year. Former Gaurs Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade, Lenny Rodriguez and Princeton Rebello will return to what was once their backyard, as they show up at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.

Although they previously enjoyed the vociferous support of the FC Goa faithful while representing the Club, Lobera and co would be well aware that things will not be the same this time around.

Under Manolo Marquez, FC Goa had an impressive run in the recently concluded Durand Cup, where they succumbed to the eventual champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant after putting up a tough fight in the semi-finals.

This, combined with the Spaniard’s track record in Indian football and Goa’s recent performances in the pre-season friendlies and the recent match against Punjab FC, has already made him a fan favourite at his new club, who he hopes to take to new heights.

The Gaffer Speaks

Although they registered a 1-0 win against Punjab FC on Monday, Marquez was rightly disappointed with FC Goa’s overall performance. A lack of bite in finishing, along with some defence gaffes meant the Gaurs had to fight till the final whistle to secure the three points.

“As I said (at the post-match press conference), we have to improve on all fronts if we have to compete for the top honours. I know we have a good head-to-head record against Odisha FC, but I don’t believe in numbers. Tomorrow’s will be a different game altogether,” the 55-year-old said at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Odisha have a good team and a good coach, who is very experienced. He’s also worked with many of the players in the past, which gives them an advantage. But we’re prepared to face them.

“We need to control the proceedings, keep the ball among ourselves. I think, with the players we have, we will be able to do that, and then, we can win matches more easily,” he further added.

Things to Know

  1. FC Goa have played a total of 8 matches against Odisha FC, and have never lost to the Kalinga Warriors. The most recent clash between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw, in the ISL last season.
  2. Odisha FC have also never kept a clean sheet against FC Goa. The Gaurs have scored 17 times and conceded just 6 against them, in 8 matches.
  3. FC Goa are also in better form as far as recent results are concerned. The Men in Orange have won 6 of their last 8 competitive matches, drawing once and suffering just one defeat as well during this period. Odisha FC, meanwhile, have 3 wins, one draw and 4 losses from their last 8 games.
  4. As many as 6 members of Odisha FC’s squad are former Gaurs – including head coach Sergio Lobera. Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade, Lenny Rodrigues and Princeton Rebello will return on Saturday, to what was once their home turf. Similarly, Raynier Fernandes, Victor Rodriguez and Arshdeep Singh could also potentially take on their former team in the Juggernauts.
  5. FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez also has a superior record against Odisha FC. While at the helm of Hyderabad FC, the Spaniard led his team to 4 wins and a draw in 7 matches against the Kalinga Warriors.