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‘Leave it late again’ – FC Goa show fighting spirit but Ferrando needs more from Gaurs


After a rusty start to the season, the Gaur are slowly resuming their mojo as they end 2020 on a high note …

Another day, another late winner from Igor Angulo. The shaped front has sealed three points for FC Goa as they end 2020 on a high, sneaking into the top four Indian Super League (ISL).

Just like in the previous match against Jamshedpur FC, the Gaurs kept him late once again, but in the end they made sure the job was done thanks to goals from ‘super-sub’ Ishan Pandita, who scored seconds after stepping on the ground as a substitute, then Igor Angulo who was also hot to handle for the back line of Hyderabad.

The reigning ISL League Shield winners haven’t had the best start to their campaign this season, but with every game that passes the Gaurs are slowly improving. With the massive exodus of foreign and Indian players this summer, new coach Juan Ferrando had a tough job in hand to bring the squad together but the young Spanish coach has so far done a commendable job.

FC Goa deserve some credit for replacing charismatic striker Ferran Corominas, who left the club after three seasons this summer, with a worthy successor to Igor Angulo. The veteran striker has extensive experience playing in the Premier League of Spain and did a splendid job in his first season in India. He has already scored nine goals in as many games and is at the top of the ISL top scorers chart.

With backing from Jorge Ortiz and Brandon Fernandes, Angulo scored crucial goals to ensure Gaurs remained in the top four.

But Ferrando still has to sort out a few issues. Goa were unable to take a game by the skin of the neck despite dominating possession. Often, after conceding goals, they are forced to give everything in attack and get a result. It has worked for them in the last couple of games, but it can’t be the norm throughout the season.

The coach himself recognized this after the Hyderabad game and expects more character from his team.

“It is important to be calm because in the last two games we won 2-1 at the last minute. You have to grow during the games. You have to start games with more personality and more character and not just react later to descend by a goal. “

As the Gaur ended the year on a high, the Nizams conceded their third trotting loss this season. After a good start to the campaign where they went undefeated in their first five matches, Hyderabad’s form graph suddenly dropped and they are now languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Unfortunately, Manuel Marquez has not yet provided him with a team in great shape. Hyderabad played with just three foreigners for the majority of the first phase and did a pretty decent job.

The good news for them is that the three injured foreigners (Fran Sandaza, Joel Chianese and Lluis Sastre) have recovered from their injuries and are slowly regaining their form. They have also signed Dutch midfielder Roland Alberg as the seventh away signing and he will join the team as soon as his quarantine period is over.

This Hyderabad side have shown a lot of promise in the league so far with limited resources and Manuel Marquez is hopeful that he will get a fully fit squad in the remaining matches in the league.

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