|FC Goa start ISL campaign against Chhetri-led Bengaluru|
MARGAO, Nov 21: A new-look FC Goa, strengthened with the addition of new foreign players and a new head coach, will begin their Indian Super League campaign with a new vigour when they clash with formidable Bengaluru FC, here on Sunday.
FC Goa have never won the coveted ISL trophy and would be hoping that this time around they go one step forward than 2018 and 2015 seasons, when they emerged as runners-up.
But it won’t be an easy task for coach Juan Ferrando, who wants the club to continue playing attacking brand of football, which they also played under their previous coach Sergio Lobera.
“We would continue to play attacking brand of football, playing the game on the front foot. That is the philosophy of the club and that is what really attracted me to the job. It is aligned with the kind of football I believe in,” Ferrando said.
FC Goa, who won the League Winners Shield last season to become the first side from India to qualify for the group stage of the AFC Champions League, have parted ways with the likes of star forwards Ferran Corominas and Hugo Boumous who have established themselves as feared goal scorers in the ISL over the years.
They have added a few quality players, both domestic and foreign, and their familiarity with the home conditions will come handy in their bid to at least reach the play-offs stage.
On the other hand, Bengaluru, who have won the ISL once, would also be hoping for a winning start and contribution of star striker Sunil Chhetri would be the key.
The Bengaluru team boasts of a well-rounded unit and will be a tough opponent first up.
The prolific Chhetri can turn a game on its head single handedly and with a strong support cast, BFC will be hard to beat.
Another important cog in BFC’s wheel is experienced custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who kept the record of 11 clean-sheets last season. His role would be equally important as that of Chhetri.
Bengaluru are also expected to play key strikers Cleiton Silva, Kristian Opseth. – PTI
Match start at 7.30 PM