Dogged by injuries, FC Goa are looking to bounce back after a defeat as they meet Pune FC in the battle for supermacy in round seventh of the Indian Super League (ISL) football here on Friday.
With the league entering the middle stage, there is not much of a difference among the eight teams. FC Goa, who have 10 points from six matches, are just two points away from table topper Pune FC, and a win on Friday will put them back at the top.
FC Goa coach Zico knows how important it is to win on Friday in front of the home crowd.
“I know it is going to be tough match and my players are all focus to win tomorrow despite of injuries to several players. I have faith in all the players that they will give their best and win tomorrow which will take us at the top after the end of the first leg and also give the much confident when they begin their second leg,” stated Zico.
With Joffre, Reinaldo, Keenan, Victorino, C S Sabeeth and Darryl Duffy not playing due to injury, the onus is on the players who are available to give their best.
“Have full faith in my boys that they will give their best,” said Zico.
Zico was disappointed with the referee in their last match against Mumbai FC to whom they lost 0-2.
“The second goal which the home team scored was a hand ball but no body said anything or wrote about it. The referee also failed to show yellow card on a back tackle against Darryl Duffy who received a hairline fracture on his sheen bone and is out of the competation. If we talk or complain against the referee we get letters, so what is the point of having press briefing if we cannot express our feeling.”
Striker Joaquim Abranches will get a chance to play his first match as the regular strikers are on the injury list.
“Victor Simoes’ replacement Raphael has arrived in Goa yesterday from Brazil but I have not spoken to him, although he will practice today. I will have to talk to him and see if he is ready to play tomorrow as he has come from a long distance,” said Zico.
Marquee player Lucio has recovered from his injury and had a practice yesterday.
Pune FC, who made amends for their loss to Chennayin FC by beating Kerala Blasters in their last match to move to the top of the table with 12 points, are now looking to maintain the winning momentum.