Fatorda (Goa), Feb 17 (IANS) FC Goa will aim to follow the footsteps of Bengaluru FC and confirm their place in the Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs when they face Kerala Blasters FC here on Monday.
Sergio Lobera’s men currently sit in second spot on the league table with 28 points from their 15 games and a victory against Kerala will help them seal a place in the last four.
Goa are in excellent form currently and come into the clash on the back of a five-game unbeaten run with a comprehensive 3-0 thrashing of formidable ATK being their latest scalp.
Goa were absolutely ruthless in the win against ATK with star striker Ferran Corominas bagging a brace which has catapulted him back to the top of the scoring charts ahead of NorthEast United’s Bartholomew Ogbeche with 13 goals.
With their last two matches in the league coming against last season’s finalists Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC, Goa will be desperate to take the maximum points from the Kerala encounter.
“We are going to face a very good team that is looking different under a new coach. I’m sure that if we are not at our 100 percent and are not doing the things right, we won’t be able to take the three points. Also, if we win, we will confirm our spot in the play-offs and then try to get on top of the table,” Lobera said.
Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, do not have much at stake apart from pride to play for with even a top-six finish now beyond the reach of coach Nelo Vingada and his men.
It has not been the easiest of tasks for Vingada since taking over the reins from David James with his first three games in charge of the club yielding just two points.
However, there has been a minor turnaround in fortunes for Kerala since their 0-2 defeat at the hands of Delhi Dynamos. They were excellent in the first-half against Bengaluru before they squandered a two-goal advantage and settled for a draw.
Vingada will come into the clash on the back of his first win as Kerala boss after an impressive 3-0 thrashing of defending champions Chennaiyin FC.
“I also want to see through this game how our team can face the best opponents in the ISL. No doubt that Goa is better than us and the difference in points shows that, but that does not mean they will win the game,” Vingada said.
Goa ran out 3-1 victors in the reverse fixture at Kochi earlier this season. Will they do the double or will Vingada’s men exact revenge?