GOA: Back in their own fort and counting upon the most vocal home crowd support, FC Goa are keen to avoid another disappointment at the semi-final stage as they prepare to make things difficult for Delhi Dynamos in the second leg semi-final clash of the Hero Indian Super League in Goa on Tuesday.
FC Goa lost the first leg semi-final 0-1 in Delhi last week and now must overcome the deficit if they are to progress to the final, also to be played in Goa on December 20.
Last year, FC Goa had lost to Atletico de Kolkata at the same stage through penalties. But this time around, FC Goa chief coach Zico feels his team is better prepared to tackle their semi-final opponents.
“Delhi Dynamos did not have supremacy over us in the last game. Both teams had chances but Delhi took theirs and we didn’t,” Zico told reporters during the pre-match media briefing.
Zico is expected to ring in the changes and also tweak the formation as Brazilian striker Reinaldo and defender Raju Gaekwad are both unavailable with another Brazilian striker, Rafael Coelho, being talked about as a potential starter in the crucial clash.
FC Goa played Delhi Dynamos in their opening league clash at the same venue and won 2-0. Asked what had changed, if any, between then and now, Zico said, “nothing much has changed. Both have the same players and if I can see any change, it’s just that the players are a little bit tired.”
Delhi Dynamos could have killed the match in the first leg itself as they missed plenty of chances. Coach Roberto Carlos knows that his team was superior in the semi-finals after losing both the league clashes and was confident that they can be the first team to seal a place in the final.
“My team will always attack. The formation will always be attacking. It will be almost the same. We will shoot on goal,” said Carlos, when asked if he would try and defend the win that they secured in Delhi.
Delhi Dynamos have been a low scoring team all through the league but Carlos said he had nothing to worry as attacking players like Gustavo dos Santos, Robin Singh, Florent Malouda, Richard Gadze and Adil Nabi were all capable of scoring goals in crucial matches.
“The players are motivated and confident. We have to set up some details for this match and then we are ready. It’s our most important match,” said Carlos.
Former Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, who was also present for the media briefing, was equally confident.
“For us, it’s better not to make any calculation. Whenever we have tried to calculate, it’s not been good for us. We lost twice to Goa (in the league stage) and learnt our lessons from those losses,” said Malouda.