ISL: Goa, Jamshedpur face-off in playoff spot decider (Preview)

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Jamshedpur, March 3 (IANS) FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC will clash in an all-important match which will decide the final playoff spot in the Indian Super League.

A draw will be enough for Goa since they are already a point ahead of the hosts. If they lose, then Steve Coppell’s side will seal a remarkable achievement in their first season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Sunday.

“In a strange sort of way, I am happy that we have to win to go through because that way there is no doubt in our mind. If we would have been able to qualify with a draw, all of a sudden human nature means you try and protect what you have and I don’t think that really suits us,” Jamshedpur head coach Coppell said.

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“The results midweek mean that we have only one goal in mind and we have only one way we can play. We simply have to win to qualify.”

The Englishman left no doubt that his team aim for victory. The previous fixture between the two sides ended 2-1 in favour of Goa at the Nehru Stadium at home.

“Do we need to get better in front of the goal? Obviously, that has been the case all season. More potential and more fire-power in front of the goal. It’s not the strikers’ fault, but the team’s responsibility to create chances and score goals and we have to correct that for tomorrow,” Coppell said.

Meanwhile, Goa are back in form, having scored nine goals in the last two matches, trouncing impressive FC Pune City 4-0 away before beating defending champions ATK 5-1 at home.

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“I know a draw is enough for us but once we try and play for a draw, we end up losing the game. So we will do our best to try and win the match,” Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said. If Goa win, they can finish second due to their record against Pune City.

Goa have a few niggles but Lobera would not elaborate on which players were doubtful for the crunch match.

“They are a defensively well-structured team and comfortable with their style of play. They deserve to be in a situation where they can fight for the semifinals,” Lobera said about Jamshedpur.

–IANS

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