FC Goa is set to welcome three important players back in the squad.
FC Goa trainer Clifford Miranda expressed his pleasure in the return Hugo Boumous, Brandon Fernandes and Edu Bedia for the next leg of the 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final leg against Chennaiyin FC in the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Goa, on Saturday.
“It’s always great to have a complete squad. We missed a few players (in the first leg). Their absence was felt not only concerning the score but as a group. We always like to have Hugo and everybody else around. It isn’t just the goals that Hugo gives us, it is a different environment when he’s about,” Miranda said.
The trio was inaccessible for the first leg of this semi-final played in Chennai and the Gaurs suffered a 4-1 defeat. They’ve brought home an away goal and the prior FC Goa winger insisted that the tie will be determined only in the final whistle.
“We must win to overcome the shortage, but it doesn’t mean we go all from moment one. It is 90 minutes and more and whatever soccer I know isn’t decided in the first ten to 15 minutes. It will be until the final whistle and we’ll take it minute-by-minute,” he said.
“If you play a soccer game, you need to defend and attack but this specific game has a different dynamic, a dynamic where we must be very strong in defence and in the exact same time where we need to overcome the deficit to take us into the final. We need to be careful, we’ve got to powerful. Motivation isn’t a factor, it’s normal for us now.”
“We will try everything we can to find the result in our favour. For me personally, the onus is on Chennai since they start as favourites with a 4-1 advantage. So it is Chennaiyin’s game to lose.”
“We will play freely and responsibly towards our lovers, our personality and the very integrity of the club. I can’t ask anything more from the players as they’ve given everything throughout the entire year. They’ve been doing a wonderful job.”
FC Goa has made it into the semi-finals for a record fifth time, finishing runners up two (2016 and 2018-19). Miranda concluded, “We’ve won the league and achieved one of our main targets but also one of our principal targets is to accomplish the final, which we’re trying and it is in the procedure.”