GOA: FC Goa will not be short of motivation when they take on Chennaiyin FC in their Indian Super League concluding clash as last year’s finalists battle for pride at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda-Goa, on Thursday.
FC Goa are at the bottom with 11 points from 13 matches and even if they win their last game against Chennaiyin FC they will finish right below all teams. It will be a league to forget for FC Goa coach Zico but as the hosts battle against Chennaiyin FC, there will still be plenty at stake.
FC Goa played Chennaiyin FC in last year’s final and lost the title 2-3 after conceding two goals in the dying minutes. FC Goa were leading 2-1 till the closing minutes when Chennaiyin FC turned it around with two quick goals from star player Stiven Mendoza.
That loss still hurts players and FC Goa fans and they will now have a chance to wipe off those memories as they come face to face again. In the last game, FC Goa were hammered 1-5 by Delhi Dynamos and coach Zico will want to finish with a positive result.
“Delhi is a very good team, very compact; they know how to play their game. In the first half, we held them but in the second they found their way. The other thing is that when there is a motivation factor you play in a certain way, like if the team is in the hunt for semis… We had nothing like that going for us so that also played a role,” Zico said while explaining the huge defeat.
Chennaiyin FC are also out of the league but they will look to finish as high as possible with a victory against FC Goa.
Chennaiyin FC were in the race for a place in semi-finals until they conceded a goal in the last minute as NorthEast United FC snatched a 3-3 draw. That result pushed Chennaiyin FC out of the race and coach Marco Materazzi was left to rue goals they continued at the end.
The problem for Materazzi’s side has been late goals which they have conceded from a dominating position. Besides NorthEast United, Chennaiyin FC suffered late setbacks against Atletico de Kolkata, Mumbai City FC and FC Pune City.
Despite being knocked out, Materazzi said he was proud of his team’s efforts and highlighted the achievements in the first three years.
“If somebody told me three years ago that come to India and you will reach the semi-finals in the first year and win in the second year and we would go out like this in the third year, I would still sign up. So I am happy about the performance (against NorthEast United) and now we can play as good as we can in the next game against Goa,” said Materazzi.
With a win, Chennaiyin FC can finish fifth if other results go their way.