The Gameweek 3 of the Hero ISL kicks off today with the Gaurs locking horns against the Highlanders in the matchday 12 of the Hero Indian Super League.
Blast from the past :
Back in January 2020 FC Goa hosted Northeast United at the Fatorda in their 100th Hero ISL game. A ‘Gyan less’ Northeast displayed some good football but an own goal from Croatian Centre back Mislav Komorski and a spot kick by Ferran Corominas in the second half saw FC Goa securing all 3 points.
FC Goa :
Their last match against Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai City FC saw some late drama. A hand ball by Lenny Rodrigues in the penalty box convinced the referee to give away a spot kick. Adam Le fondre made no mistake in getting it past Nawaz and sealed the deal for the Islanders in the dying minutes of the match against a 10 men FC Goa. The Gaurs sit at the 10th spot with one point on the points table.
Juan Ferrando’s team are doing exceptionally well in terms of ball possession, passing accuracy and will hope to implement their possession based game against Gerard Nus and company but will need to be on their front foot against Northeast United FC’s counter attacks.
“About psychology, it’s no worries because my team knows what happened in the last game. We know about so many mistakes in the game and we learn about it. The team after (the game against) Mumbai come to the hotel and everyone was thinking about NorthEast. They are working. I don’t think people are upset. This is the past and we are thinking in the future. Not so worried because the team is good. Yesterday, training was perfect. Everybody was hard-working, everybody was positive. I am so happy with the team.” said Juan Ferrando during a pre-match press conference.
In the last game against Kibu Vicuna’s men the Highlanders were high on Character and fighting spirit. Northeast United displayed their intentions for the season ahead. The first half saw Kerala Blasters taking the lead courtesy of a clinical header by Sergio Cidoncha and a controversial spot kick by Garry Hooper. The Highlanders bounced back from two goals down to take home a point with a early second half goal by Kwesi Appiah and a late equaliser by Idrissa Sylla.
The side from Guwahati currently sit at the second spot on the points table with 4 points to their name. Northeast United have looked ‘too aggresive’ in the second halfs and they do cover up for all the mistakes they make in the first 45. Gerard Nus is well aware of the pressure FC Goa have to win this tie and will make sure his side leaves no stones unturned.
“We are working very hard to make sure we are competitive in every single game and I believe that we achieved that in the first two games and I am not surprised in the way we play because that’s the way we train. We believe the way we working every day, the players are playing and the game is a result basically of passion and the hard work they are putting in, in every training session. So, I am not surprised to see them performing in the games because that’s why everybody’s working so hard. Players first and obviously the staff as well.” added Gerard Nus during the club’s pre match cress conference.
Battles to watch out for :
Dylan Fox vs Igor Angulo
The Aussie centre back has already gained praises from football pundit around the subcontinent for his dominant defensive duties for the Highlanders.
Igor Angulo has showed everyone what he is capable of when he scored 2 past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and helped his team get back on level terms. It will be an interesting battle to watch out for because Dylan Fox will have a huge role to play to stop the Spanish target man Igor Angulo.
Edu Bedia vs Lalengmawia
This one’s is a battle of the playmakers. The importance Edu Bedia for FC Goa is evident and that’s why he has been chosen to lead the Gaurs into the seventh edition of the Hero ISL. The Spanish playmaker has been a key player in the middle of the park for the Gaurs and can play all across the pitch.
Lalengmawia on the other hand, has already impressed everyone with the kind of exceptional skills he possesses. The Indian Wonderkid is also one of the four captians chosen by the club to lead the Highlanders into the seventh season and that clearly shows what kind of an asset he his. Let’s see which of two playmakers help their side to the three points tonight.
Probable Starting XI :
FC Goa : Nawaz, Savior, Evan, Donachie, Seriton, Lenny, Edu, Noguera, Doungel, Jesuraj, Angulo
Northeast United FC : Subhasish, Gurjinder, Fox, Lambot, Ashutosh, Camara, Lalengmawia, Fanai, Gallego, Ninthoi, Appiah