Margao: It’s hasn’t happened often enough this season in the Indian Super League, but FC Goa find themselves in a must-win situation when they take on Delhi Dynamos in a game where one team will play for pride and the other possibly for a shot at glory.
Goa are winless in their last four games, losing three of them, and are seemingly in a free-fall in the table – a prospect that was unthinkable given the ease with which they were dispatching both goals and teams until recently. The ‘Gaurs’ have two matches in hand over the teams in the top four and even Kerala Blasters FC, who are fifth, but a win at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa, on Wednesday, will be imperative to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“We will be depending on ourselves. Rather than pressure, we should look at it with excitement because I think we can achieve something special this year and we are four wins away from that. The most important thing is to be loyal to ourselves and focus on recovering the confidence of the players,” said Goa head coach Sergio Lobera.
“We have already shown what a good team we are and we have to do the same in this final phase. For me every game is different and what has happened in the past, we cannot compare with now. If we have to think about that game, it didn’t reflect what happened on the pitch – they had a man sent off and then the scoreline became very extensive. Till the red card, the match was very balanced. Delhi deserve more points than they have,” he added, referring to Goa’s 5-1 win in the first fixture between the two sides.
As for Delhi, they’re bottom of the table but such are the stakes that a win could take them all the way to eighth place.
“We have always played well – nothing is different for my team – we play and we lose. But in the last two games we played well and won. That gives us confidence to win in the next four games. For us, I have told the players that every game is a final for us now because we want to finish by winning all the remaining games,” Delhi head coach Miguel Angel Portugal said.
“I know it’s an important match for FC Goa – but for us, I just want to win the game and make everyone happy,” he added.
Former FC Goa player Romeo Fernandes could feature in the match after being slowly blooded into the line-up by Portugal. Another former Gaur Manuel Arana will also don Delhi’s colours at his old stomping ground.