NorthEast eye second straight ISL home win against Goa (Preview)

Guwahati, Oct 3 (IANS) A buoyant NorthEast United FC will be eyeing nothing less than a win against FC Goa in their second successive Indian Super League (ISL) football home match here on Tuesday.

NorthEast began their campaign with a confidence-uplifting 1-0 win against Kerala Blasters in the tournament’s opening match at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Sunday.

Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa scoring the winning goal and the encouraging start would have surely put new coach Nelo Vingada in a positive frame of mind.

But the Portuguese knows there is plenty of scope for improvement.

“I know we have to play better to reach the semis which is my target and of my players, so we have to be more consistent. If we don’t grow as a team and play better, it won’t be enough,” he said in an ISL release.

NorthEast is unlikely to change their winning combination.

“For me this was the best eleven which I could use for the game because some players are injured and most of the players are not fully fit for 90 minutes. But I am satisfied with the foreign players and I am also very happy with the Indian boys,” said Vingada.

NorthEast’s opponents FC Goa, last year’s runners-up, will once again be helmed by Brazilian legend Zico. They played attractive football last year but faltered in the final against Chennaiyin FC.

Zico will seek solace from last year’s bitter pain with a promising start this time.

Goa conducted their pre-season in Brazil and played four friendlies with Zico using different players to try out varied formations. It isn’t clear who will be named in their first team.

Goa will be without several players who are nursing injuries. Defenders Gregory Arnolin, Denzil Franco, goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury and striker Robin Singh are all on the teatment table, having picked up knocks during their pre-tournament training.

Zico has retained the core of the squad, with emphasis on Brazilian and local talents.

Focus will be on the new joiness like Trindade Goncalves, Rafael Dumas, Julio Cesar and Richarlyson and how they will be accommodated in the starting team by Zico.

–IANS

sam/dg

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