Pune win restores Goa’s confidence

Panaji, Nov 6 (IANS) FC Goa’s win against FC Pune City has restored confidence among the struggling team members who are looking to overturn their wretched form to revive hopes of Indian Super League (ISL) football semi-finals qualification.

The 1-0 away win on November 3, only second of their campaign, helped Goa leave their bottom of the standings position to be placed seventh among eight teams with seven points from eight matches. Mumbai City FC are on top with 15 points from nine matches.

Goa have struggled through the first phase of the campaign, winning and drawing one games each.

They were placed in a similar position in the 2014 edition of the tournament after the first phase of seven matches.

Goa’s coach legendary Brazilian Zico then turned their fortunes around expertly in the second phase masterminding an unbeaten run, winning five of the next seven games and drawing twice to qualify for the semi-finals.

Zico has called on his squad to emulate the 2014 spirit and replicate the achievement.

He is positive about his team’s chances this year too and lauded the fighting spirit his boys have shown so far.

“It is a great victory for our team that fought to the last minute. We had many opportunities to score but congratulations to my players on their performance today. And we played this game like our life depended on it,” he said in an ISL release on Sunday.

The head coach stressed on the need to turn around their home form after getting enduring three straight defeats at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda.

“We are playing very well and we came close on some occasions but the results haven’t gone our way yet at home. Like I said, we are playing like our life depends on it,” he said.

Defender Raju Gaekwad spoke about continuing with similar performances for the rest of the tournament.

“I’m very happy we got the victory today. It is only our second victory of the tournament but I hope that in the next six games, we are able to get as many points as possible to qualify for the semi-finals. That is our main aim. We need to keep up the performances and score more goals,” he said.

Winger Romeo Fernandes said the team needs to remain grounded to achieve their objective.

“It is very nice that we won and we rose one position in the table. But there are still six games to go. Every in the team is happy about winning but we are all focussed on the game in Kerala and we are aiming to get another victory against the Blasters,” he said.

–IANS

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