A keen contest is on the card as FC Goa will be looking to complete a hattrick of wins when they play their last match of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at home against NE United FC in Margao on Monday.
With three rounds to go, the league is poised for an interesting finish after unexpected results in the last two rounds. Nobody expected FC Goa would rise among the top four after they were lying at the bottom, but their coach Zico kept faith in his boys that they can do it.
He was not happy with his coaching staff and once he got them changed with his own men from Brazil, things changed for the Goan side as they starting winning thereafter to reach third spot with 15 points from 11 matches.
A win tomorrow will not only take them to second spot but also give them the needed confidence to play their last two away matches and win against Altetico de Kolkata and Chennayin FC and thus qualify for the semi-finals.
Zico is pleased with the away his team has been playing.
The last match has been the best among all the matches they have played as they outplayed Kerala Blasters 3-0 with Andre Santos leading the attack from the middle. Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Desai too played well on the flanks keeping the rival defenders under constant pressure.
Striker Miroslav who struggled to score in the first leg has found his striking prowess, scoring three goals in the last two matches and will be the one who will cause the rival defence all sort of trouble in the absence of their reliable defender Joan Capdevila who will not play on Monday due to the red card he received in the last match.
Bruno Pinherio who plays in the midfield has been excellent replacement for injured Youness who is recovering from knee injury in the defence. He along with Gregory Arnolin has guarded the defence well and coach Zico is likely to stick to the same side that won the last two matches.
North East United FC who lost to Delhi Dynamos came back strongly to beat table topper Chennayin FC in the last match to move to sixth place with 13 points from 11 matches and thus keep their hopes alive for a place in the knock-out stage.
They have young blood who are capable of giving their opponents a tough fight with their quick running down the flanks.
The visitors’ success will depend on how Koke stir the attack from the middle. Defender Kondawni Mtonga and Massamba Sambou are dangerous in the aerial ball and the home team will have to keep a close watch against them.
Both the teams drew 1-1 in their first leg match and Monday’s match too is going to be a close contest. But the home team who has improved after each match and with crowd support they have a good chance to win and cement their place for the semi-finals.