Herald: FC Goa out to make Believe, Strike and Inspire in epic semis today
Herald News

FC Goa out to make Believe, Strike and Inspire in epic semis today

14 Dec 2014 12:45am IST
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14 Dec 2014 12:45am IST

Face Atletico de Kolkata at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, at 7 p.m.

MAPUSA: Unbeaten in their last eight matches, Zico’s FC Goa are raring to go head-to-head against Atletico de Kolkata in the first leg of the second semi-final match of the Hero Indian Super League, at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, on Sunday.

Given FC Goa’s recent from, the match is said to be the El-Classico in Indian football. 

The Goa outfit rested several of their regulars in their last league match against Atletico de Kolkata which ended in a 1-1 draw, on Wednesday, in Kolkata.

Although Zico expressed his unhappiness over the artificial turf at the Salt Lake, the Brazilian tactician will certainly have the edge in the return fixture, on December 17, at the lush green Nehru Stadium, Fatorda.

FC Goa lost four out of their first six matches but came back strongly in the second half of the tournament with five victories from their last eight encounters keeping five clean sheets in their 14 matches. Overall, Zico has done a remarkable job with six wins, four defeats and three draws, which took them to the second spot of the standings with 22 points. Chennaiyin FC topped the table with 23 points.

On the other hand, Atletico de Kolkata were the last team to qualify to the semi-finals after starting the tournament on a high with three wins out of their first four games. However, they were winless in their last 10 matches and being held seven times, most draws in the league.


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Herald retrospects FC Goa’s inspirational road to the semi-finals in which they succeeded with their slogan 
“Believe, Strike and Inspire” for the loyal fans:

FC GOA FORM GUIDE: 

L-D-L-L-W-L-D-W-D-W-W-W-W-D

(L=Lost, W=Won, Draw= D, 

H=Home, A=away)


ROAD TO SEMI-FINALS


Match 1 lost to Chennayin FC 2-1 at home

Balwant Singh (32') and Elano Blumer (42') gave the southerners a two-goal cushion in the first half, while Gregory Arnolin (65') managed to pull one back for the Goan franchise.


Match 2 drew to NorthEast United FC away

Gregory Arnolin scored his second goal in as many matches to put FC Goa in an advantageous position only for the referee to award a controversial penalty which saw Koke convert from the spot to equalize in the first half for NorthEast United.


Match 3 lost to A de Kolkata 2-1 at home

Andre Santos had put FC Goa ahead in the first half before Cavin Lobo struck twice in the second session for the Kolkata outfit.


Match 4 lost to Pune City FC 2-0 away

A goal each from Kostas Katsouranis and David Trezeguet aided FC Pune City in their 2-0 victory over FC Goa.


Match 5 defeated Delhi Dynamos 2-1 away

Tolgay Ozbey and Jewel Raja came to FC Goa’s rescue as they scored twice in the second half to help their side down Delhi Dynamos 2-1 after trailing by a Mads Junker goal for most of the game.


Match 6 lost to Kerala Blasters 1-0 away

Two substitutes, Milagres Gonsalves and Andrew Barisic combined brilliantly to give Kerala a win in their maiden home game with the former scoring the all-important goal in the 63rd minute.


Match 7 drew goalless to Mumbai at home

Both sides created chances but failed to get off the mark as Mumbai moved up the table to fourth with the point. 


Match 8 defeated Delhi Dynamos 4-1 away

A brace by Youness Bengelloun, a Robert Pires spot-kick and a top strike by Tolgay Ozbey were enough to seal their first three points on the road. Gustavo Marmentini did pull one back for the home side after a penalty was awarded in the 73rd minute.


Match 9 drew goalless to Mumbai away

Yet another goalless draw between the teams, this time in Mumbai. May be we might get a result between the two in the second edition of the tournament. 


Match 10 defeated Delhi Dynamos 4-1 away

It was the teams’ first victory in their four win run. 


Match 11 beat Kerala Blasters 3-0 at home

Zico’s side avenged their away defeat as they trounced their opponents with a brace by Miroslav Slepicka while Andre Santos added the icing on the cake. All goals came in the second period. 


Match 12 beat NorthEast United 3-0 at home

Romeo Fernandes and Miroslav Slepicka put ahead FC Goa ahead in the first half while Andre Santos sealed three points after change of ends.


Match 13 defeated Channaiyin FC 3-1 away

The hosts were handed their first defeat of the campaign of home soil by in-form FC Goa who scored again through ‘The Three Musketeers’ Romeo Fernandes, Andre Santos and Miroslav Slepicka. Jean-Eudes Maurice did pull one back for Chennaiyin Fc in stoppage time. 


Match 14 drew 1-1 to A de Kolkata away

The Kolkata giants could have been knocked out of the tournament if Edgar Marcelino’s wonder strike in the 27th minute would have remained. But, Atletico de Kolkata relied on little help from match referee B Toledo as Fikru equalized through the controversial penalty at the cost of Bruno Pinheiro’s sending off.

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