Euro 2020 Special

Hero ISL: FC Goa vs ATK Mohun Bagan Preview

FC Goa vs ATK Mohun Bagan will mark the beginning of the second half of the league season for the Mariners. The team in third place in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) table, Goa take on the second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan. The reverse fixture provided some enthralling football as Antonio Lopez Habas’ team pulled off a masterclass of pressing and counter-attacking play to win the match 1-0.

Will Goa learn from their mistakes in the previous game? Or will the Mariners prove to be too strong for the Gaurs once again? Here’s our breakdown of FC Goa vs ATK Mohun Bagan.

The Gaurs are coming into this match on the back of an all-round performance against Jamshedpur FC in their previous game. From the outside, it seems like Juan Ferrando’s squad understands the football their manager wants them to play and now results are coming in their favour. After suffering back-to-back defeats in December, Goa have put together a run of four matches unbeaten.

Juan tweaked it around in their last match and played with a false nine in Jorge Ortiz rather than their conventional striker Igor Angulo. This worked out perfectly well as Goa were able to outnumber the opposition in the buildup play and had enough quality to finish off their chances at the other end. They were put under decent pressure by Jamshedpur later in the game but the team was resolute enough to keep a clean sheet.

It’ll be interesting to see what system he will deploy for this big match against the Mariners. There will be plenty of things to learn for the young coach from the reverse fixture as for all the possession they had, they failed to create enough quality chances.

After almost a perfect beginning to the first half of the season, the Mariners struggled to show their class in the top of the table clash against Mumbai City FC. The first half performance against Mumbai was nowhere near the high standards of the team as they failed to produce even a single chance in this game. Habas changed the system in the second half and reverted to his more favoured system of 3-5-2 and that almost worked against the Islanders. They were without their key man in midfield Carl McHugh and that had an impact on how the team pressed in the first half.

Ironically, against FC Goa in the reverse fixture, Habas went with a 4-3-3, looking to press the Goan players high up the pitch and that worked wonders that time around. It completely failed in the previous match against Mumbai City FC. The Spaniard has this big dilemma to solve ahead of this important match for them in the season. Pronay Halder will be suspended for this clash as the midfielder picked up his fourth yellow card of the season in the previous match.

Juan Ferrando was in a good mood in his pre-match presser and this is what he makes of the upcoming match. “All the games are important for us. Tomorrow, it is a nice game because we play against a very good team. It is a good opportunity to get three points and to improve as a team.”

“We had a plan to use a high pressing style in the first half, but the team just weren’t able to execute that. The team didn’t play well today, but I don’t remember us giving any definitive chances to the opponents in the first 45 minutes.” This is what Antonio Lopez Habas made of his team’s performance in their previous match.

FC Goa (4-2-3-1): Naveen Kumar (GK); Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Saviour Gama; Lenny Rodrigues, Edu Bedia; Jesuraj Romario, Brandon Fernandes, Jorge Ortiz; Igor Angulo

ATK Mohun Bagan (3-5-2): Arindam Bhattacharja (GK); Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri; Subhasish Bose, Carl McHugh, Javi Hernandez, Jayesh Rane, Prabir Das; David Williams, Roy Krishna

The match between FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan will be broadcasted in India from 7:30 PM IST in Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, and their respective HD TV channels. You can also live stream the match on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.

Read: David Williams: From Goalscoring in A-League to Hero ISL Glory



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