FC Goa face Chennaiyin FC who are fighting to stay alive in the Indian Super League (ISL) here on Saturday. While Chennaiyin would still need other results to go their way to reach the top-four if they win this match, a defeat to Goa on Friday would be the end of their challenge.
To get anything against Goa, Chennaiyin need to score goals from somewhere. They are second in the league in terms of shots at the goal and third in terms of chances created, but somehow they have contrived to score the least number of goals. They haven’t scored in 10 of the 17 games they have played and haven’t netted in more than 10 hours of football.
Even if Chennaiyin win, qualification is still a stretch with multiple permutations needing to work in their favour. But at this point, coach Csaba Laszlo knows that all his team can do right now is win whatever games they are left with.
“We had a big chance to win the game against Jamshedpur. They had just one shot on target but unfortunately we conceded an own goal and lost a game at the last minute. This is very painful because we had good chances to score and win the game. But we have to take it how it is and we have to concentrate on the next three games. It is most important that we go out against Goa and play for the club and show that we are still a good team,” said Laszlo.
Goa might just be the team to break that jinx against — they have only kept two clean sheets all season. For coach Juan Ferrando, the target is simple. Win and they would have taken a giant step towards the playoff with just three games left. Ferrando will no doubt be buoyed by the team putting up a brave fight to hold leaders Mumbai City to a 3-3 draw in their last game.
“This team is working hard in training and in matches. The most important thing is, they have a strong personality and they want to win all the time. I’m very happy because when the score isn’t good or when we are in a difficult moment, they keep going and display a strong mentality,” he said.