and Jamshedpur FC clash each other in a crucial match which will decide the final play-off spot in the Indian Super League at Jamshedpur on Sunday. A draw will be enough for Goa to make it to the last four stage since they are a point ahead of Jamshedpur.
It will be a battle of the league’s best attack and defence, as Sergio Lobera’s Goa have scored 39 goals in their 17 matches while Steve Coppell’s Jamshedpur have let in only 15 in as many games. Goa striker Coro, the ISL’s top goalscorer, incidentally has 16 strikes to his name.
If Goa lose, then Jamshedpur will seal qualification in their first season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
“In a strange sort of way, I am happy that we have to win to go through because that way there is no doubt in our mind. If we would have been able to qualify with a draw, all of a sudden human nature means you try and protect what you have and I don’t think that really suits us,” said Coppell.
“The results in midweek mean that we have only one goal in mind and we have only one way we can play. We simply have to win to qualify,” he said. The Englishman left no doubts that his team will go for the victory. The previous fixture between the two sides ended 2-1 in favour of Goa.
“Do we need to get better in front of goal? Obviously, that has been the case all season. More potential and more fire-power in front of goal. It’s not the strikers’ fault, but the team’s responsibility to create chances and score goals and we have to correct that for tomorrow,” he said. FC Goa, meanwhile, are back to their best.
They’ve scored nine goals in the last two matches, trouncing FC Pune City 4-0 away, before beating defending champions ATK 5-1 at home. Goa had not defeated ATK since the leagues inception in 2014.
“I know a draw is enough for us but once we try and play for a draw, we end up losing the game. So we do our best to try and win the match,” Lobera said. If Goa win, they can finish second due to their head-to-head record against Pune City.
FC Goa have a few niggles but Lobera would not elaborate on which players were doubtful for the crunch match. “They’re a defensively well-structured team and comfortable with their style of play. They deserve to be in a situation where they can fight for the semifinals,” Lobera said about Jamshedpur.
(With inputs from PTI)