FC Goa, NorthEast United face off in must-win game
November 10, 2016
GOA: FC Goa are seeking inspiration from their first season when they qualified for the semi-finals of Hero Indian Super League despite all odds.
FC Goa are at the bottom with seven points after nine matches but they have not given up on hopes of qualifying as they take on NorthEast United FC in a 10th round encounter at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda-Goa, on Friday.
“Football provides with the inspiration. In football we see everything. In the first season, we were at the bottom of the table but we won six games and qualified with one round to spare. I am not saying that surely we will do it again but we will do everything to make it happen. It still depends entirely on us,” said FC Goa assistant coach Vannucci Fernando during the pre-match media interaction.
FC Goa lost their last match 1-2 against Kerala Blasters after taking the lead and two of their players, captain Gregory Arnolin and Richarlyson Felisbino, sent off. They will both miss the game and the team also has injury concerns to take care of. Vanucci, however, remained calm and said whoever takes the field will strive to give his best for the team.
“It doesn’t matter who plays. Whoever is there, we will try to win and get the three points that we need,” said Vannucci.
Just like FC Goa, NorthEast United also need the three points to work their way
among the top four and fight for a place in semi-finals. In the last game, NorthEast United suffered their third consecutive defeat at home against Mumbai City FC and coach Nelo Vingada made it clear they need three points to take away from Goa.
“According to the situation that we are in, this is a crucial match for us. We started the league well but this is football. After a few games, even when we lost, we were performing well but in the last game we were not at the level that I expected,” said the Portuguese coach.
“We are working hard to give another image of our team, so it’s important to win. Goa will be missing some player. As a coach, I want the best for NorthEast United. I want my team to beat the best with good football but I want all players to play for Goa, so also for my team. Some of my players cannot play due to injury and suspension,” said Vingada.
NorthEast United are placed fifth with 10 points from eight matches. They had collected six points from their first two matches but have since then not lived up to expectations.