Margao, Feb 13 (PTI) Looking to enhance their play-off chances, hosts FC Goa will take on former champions ATK in a Hero Indian Super League match at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, here on Thursday.
FC Goa had a flying start to the season before they suffered their first defeat at the hands of Jamshedpur FC.
The Goan side then witnessed a slump in form to slid to the fifth place before recovering well to remain at the third spot at the end of the long winter break.
The long winter break has helped FC Goa as they won against Mumbai FC and drew goalless against Jamshedpur and Delhi Dynamo to remain on third place with 25 points from 14 matches, one match less than other teams who are fighting for a place in play-offs.
ATK, on the other hand, started the new year with a win and a two draws too remain in the play-off hunt.
Presently lying at the sixth spot with 21 points from 15 games, ATK need to win their remaining three matches to stay afloat in the tournament. FC Goa, known for their aggressive style of play, have been found wanting in front of the goals in their last two matches as they missed chances galore.
Ferran Corominas, who has scored highest goals in the ISL and is in the race for golden boot, failed to score in the last two matches and his sudden dip in form is a cause of concern for the hosts.
A lot will depend on playmaker Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous and Ahmed Johouh and the trio will have to be more creative to find space for Corominas to score goals.
In the defence, Mourtada Fall and Carles Pena have paired up well and didn’t concede a single goal in the last three matches.
Mandar Rao Dessai offers agility and energy in his new role at left back and Seriton Fernandes has been doing his job well at the other side of the field as well.
FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera expects a tough contest in Thursday’s game.
“We have great chance of winning as we play at home. All our boys need is to remain focus and cash on the chances that come their way,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.