Margao, Feb 16 (PTI) FC Goa will hope to stop their run of draws and strengthen their playoff chances with a win when they face laggards Odisha FC in the Indian Super League here on Wednesday.
When the ISL season was halfway through, few would have looked past FC Goa while predicting the possible semifinalists. However, six draws later, they are just about hanging on.
When they take on Odisha FC at the Fatorda Stadium, Juan Ferrando's men will be vying to break the unwanted streak.
Goa are currently lying fourth, level on points with fifth-placed Hyderabad and only two points adrift of Bengaluru FC in sixth.
Ferrando knows that the game against bottom-dwellers Odisha is their best chance of getting full points among the three games that remain. However, he will have to deal with multiples absentees.
'We have some injuries. But I'm not scared because we have a very good squad,' Ferrando said on the eve of the match.
'The problem is that we only had two days to prepare. But about the players, I am not upset because we have a very good squad and everybody can help the team,' he added.
Goa have made a habit of coming back to salvage points after falling behind, something they also did in their last-gasp draw against Chennaiyin FC.
No team has won more points after conceding the first goal than them. Still, Ferrando must be wondering why his team only wakes up after going behind.
'At this moment, our mentality is to continue working,' he said. 'It is not possible to change more details. I hope these draws in the future will be wins.' On the other hand, Odisha are trudging along from defeat to defeat. The season's stats make for some dismal reading for them. They've lost 10 matches, the most by any team and kept just one clean sheet, the least by any side.
It has been eight games since they last tasted a win. Their last three games have seen them concede a whopping nine goals.
However, their interim head coach Gerald Peyton sounded confident ahead of the contest against Goa.
'I'm going to stay with the facts,' he said.
'Goa are a good passing team. I know how they will play against us. I know their tactics. Without giving tactics away, we will play a certain way. It's going to be important that we start straight from the off.' PTI APA AH AH