Robert Pires and FC Goa will look to continue their resurgence under Zico and his new coaching team when they take on Kerala Blasters FC in their home ground in the evening today. Both teams are on a high from their last outings where FC Goa beat the then 3rd position team FC Pune City while Kerala Blasters FC beat the then league leaders Atletico De Kolkata.
Will FC Goa’s Rise from the Ashes Continue?
However, I still believe that the momentum is more with FC Goa who have essentially emulated the mythical creature Phoenix rising from the ashes.
Not only have they as a team risen from their charcoal fuelled slumber but each and every player in their team has his own story of revival. Everyone from Mandar Rao Desai and Robert Pires to Andre Santos and Tolgay Ozbey has had a sudden turnaround in performance.
While you may say that even when FC Goa were bottom of the league they were the most attacking team in the league, you need to see that toothless and brainless attacking doesn’t achieve much. Besides, if they were such good attackers, why didn’t they score a boatful of goals?
However, what they do have is the potential for goals but this will have to be measured up against David James and his extraordinary skill. Atletico De Kolkata had trouble getting around David James and I see FC Goa facing the same problem. Still, I expect them to break through at least once.
Can Kerala Blasters FC Score the Goals that will Make a Difference?
Thus, it all hinges on whether Kerala Blasters FC can score goals against FC Goa. Considering the fact that they’re one of the least prolific teams in the league, this may not be likely. At the same time, FC Goa’s defence isn’t entirely fool proof. It all may boil down to mistakes from FC Goa’s defence and how well Youness Bengelloun and Gregory Arnolin play. Moreover, Bengelloun may even not play this game.
Everything points to a very interesting tactical battle between the two teams. If FC Goa can win then they’ll fortify their position in the top 4 of the league and even supersede Kerala Blasters by the virtue of goal difference. If Kerala Blasters FC can get a win then they’ll topple Atletico De Kolkata from the 2nd position. However, Atletico De Kolkata will still have a game in hand. It must be noted that Kerala Blasters FC are on a run of 5 games unbeaten while FC Goa have their own run of 4 unbeaten games. This will be two good teams going head to head for the chance to ensure their position in the qualifying spots.
A Note of Encouragement for Romeo Fernandes
Keep an eye out for Romeo Fernandes*. I’ve pegged him as the next big thing for Indian football on the evidence of his last couple of showings. After scoring a goal, setting one up, and befuddling defence in his last outing.
He will be on a high and rightly so. He’s got the kind of trickery that I’m used to seeing in the more high profile leagues of Europe. I’m looking forward to watching him again.
Also, keep a weather eye on what Zico does. The arrival of his preferred coaching staff coincided with the revival of FC Goa’s hopes.
Now that he’s had time to work on his team with his team, you may see further improvement in how FC Goa performs.
As for me, I predict a win for FC Goa by the slightest of margins. I hope they don’t disappoint because I’m firmly throwing my hat in their corner of the ring.
*Does the chap have a Twitter account? Do any of you know? Could you please point it out to me?