A fresh look FC Goa, bolstered by the addition of new foreign players and a new head coach, will kick off their Indian Super League campaign with new vigor when they face formidable Bengaluru FC in Margao on Sunday. (More football news)
FC Goa have never won the coveted ISL trophy and hope this time around they will take a step forward from the 2018 and 2015 seasons when they became a finalist.
But it will not be an easy task for coach Juan Ferrando, who wants the club to continue playing attacking football, which he also played under the guidance of his former coach Sergio Lobera.
“We would continue to play attacking football, to play the game on the front foot. That’s the philosophy of the club and that’s what really attracted me to this position. It is in tune with the type of football to which I believe”. Said Ferrando.
FC Goa, who won the League Winners Shield last season to become the first Indian team to advance to the AFC Champions League group stage, have parted ways with forwards Ferran Corominas and Hugo Boumous who have emerged as feared. ISL goal scorers over the years.
They have added a few quality players, both domestic and foreign, and their familiarity with the conditions in the country will be helpful in their attempt to at least reach the play-offs stage.
FC Goa would bet on their deadly Spanish striker Igor Angulo proves his courage from the start.
The coach has the choice of other forwards like Aaren D’Silva, Devendra Murgaonkar, Ishan Pandita and Makan Chothe, to support Angulo.
But Goa has a range of strong midfielders, the most important being skipper Edu Bedia, who can decide the fate of the game.
In addition, India international Brandon Fernandes, Lenny Rodrigues, Albert Noguera and Jorge Ortiz will have to play their role as feeders.
The departure of utilitarian midfielders like Ahmed Jahouh and Hugo Boumous would put more pressure on Noguera, who will have to establish himself as a link between Bedia and Angulo.
Then there are defenders Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie apart from the other local defenders to hold the line and thwart the opposition attack.
On the other hand, Bengaluru, who won the ISL once, would also be hoping for a winning start and the contribution of star striker Sunil Chhetri would be key.
The Bengaluru side boast of a well-balanced unit and will be a tough opponent first.
The prolific Chhetri can run a game on his own and with a solid supporting cast, BFC will be hard to beat.
Another big cog in BFC’s wheel is veteran goaltender Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who retained the record 11 clean sheets last season. His role would be just as important as that of Chhetri.
Bengaluru are also expected to play main forwards Cleiton Silva, Kristian Opseth.
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