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FC Goa Chennaiyin have axes to grind points to earn

FC Goa Chennaiyin have axes to grind points to earn

14 Feb 2018 No comment 5 hits

Margao: If FC Goa had played their last eight matches at the start, nobody would have given them a chance of qualifying for the semifinals of the Indian Super League. The Goan franchise has picked up just eight points in their last eight games – including one from the last three -- but it’s what they did at the start that provides hope.
FC Goa started with a flourish, and that against a strong squad like Chennaiyin FC when they slammed three goals inside the first 45 minutes away in Chennai.

What followed next – defensive woes – have become a regular feature but now even the goals have dried up. If FC Goa are entertaining hopes of a top-four finish they must tackle Chennaiyin FC the way they did in those dazzling opening 45 minutes, now in the comfort and support of their home crowd at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday.

“It’s a special game. We are all aware of who we are playing against,” Lobera told REPORTERS during the pre-match media interaction on Wednesday.

Given the history between these two teams – who can forget that infamous night of December 20 in 2015 at the same venue – this one will be special for more reasons than one. Of course, the past is yet to be wiped away, but more than anything, it’s the three points that Goa so badly need.

“It’s important to recover the confidence of the team. We have already demonstrated that we are a good team when we do well and this is the line of thought we need to carry on.

“One point from a possible nine is not the best possible thing to have happened to us. If we have to get in the top four, we have to improve in the next two home games,” said Lobera, who will welcome Mark Sifneos and the injured Brandon Fernandes back into the squad.

Chennaiyin FC have stuttered too, and like their opponents for Thursday’s clash, have fallen behind the pecking order after picking up just four points from their last four matches. The points dropped against bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos in the previous game will hurt but coach John Gregory knows his side can measure up to the challenge when up against the best in business.

“We tend to play our best football against teams in the top half of the table and we have scored our best victories. We won in Bengaluru, Jamshedpur, Pune. Wo we’ve played well on the road. Against some of the lesser teams we haven’t played as well as we should have done. (But) We’ve always managed to perform well in some of the big matches,” said Gregory.

It doesn’t get any bigger than this one against Goa. A victory will take them to the top three and, quite possibly, to the doorstep of the playoffs. But any other result will complicate the qualification process.

“This match against Goa, we know how big it is and what it means to both teams. It’s very important that we get something from this game, whether it’s one point or three,” said the coach.
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Source: FC Goa Chennaiyin have axes to grind points to earn

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