Struggling Goa will take on high-flying North East in the Monday encounter of Indian Football League 2020-21 to go ahead in the points table.
Goa occupies the second spot from the bottom after adding one point from the first two games, while North East takes the second spot after a hard-fought draw with Kerala.
Match Timings: Nov 30, 7:30 PM
Last season’s shield winner Goa made a sluggish start to its 2020-21 campaign after going winless in the first two weeks. They would enter into the Matchweek Three to aim for full three points against North East. Juan Ferrando’s side held Bengaluru on a 2-2 draw in the opening fixture, thanks to Angulo’s brace. In the next fixture, they failed to surprise its former manager Sergio Lobera and suffered a 1-0 loss to Mumbai, courtesy of Adam le Fondre’s injury-time winner. Despite a red card to Tlang in the first half, Goa fought hard, but all efforts were wasted.
Goa have just a solitary point from the first two games and cannot drop points on Monday. Juan Ferrando also believes that his side played terrific football, but unfortunately, the result went in the opponent’s favour. Redeem Tlang is out of this contest after taking the red card in the previous game. Juan Ferrando can finally call Brandon Fernandes to start after his substitute appearances against Bengaluru and Mumbai. He may start with either Alberto Noguera or Jorge Ortiz.
Igor Angulo will be a crucial player for Ferrando. He didn’t get many chances to score a goal against Mumbai, but his game proved his worth to Goa. Alberto Noguera is also a key figure for Goa, who came on as a substitute against Bengaluru and assisted Angulo in the short duration. He made a start against Mumbai and was truly impressive, despite having no assist and no goal.
Meanwhile, North East saw a significant turnaround in its game after a woeful season in 2019-20. The former Crystal Palace striker Appiah is a big boost to this side. He netted a winner in the second half against Lobero’s Mumbai to script a fine victory. Gerard Nus’men found the light from the long tunnel of disappointment. The Highlanders broke its 14-matches losing streak in Tilak Maidan.
On matchday two, North East pulled off a remarkable comeback in the second half. After going two goals down in the first half, Appiah struck the first goal for North East in the second half. Idrissa Sylla netted an equaliser in the final minute to held Vicuna’s men for a 2-2 draw. The Highlanders are placed at the second spot, two points behind table-leader Mohun B. Gerard Nus’men need three points to take the top spot for the first time in Indian Football League.
Under the new head coach, the positive start is a big relaxing sign for North East. North East could drop Federico Gallego to bring Luis Machado back to the starting lineup. Goa has the edge over North East in the head-to-head record as the hosts have won five of the previous 12 games against the Highlanders. In 2019-20, they met twice in the league stage, and Goa remained unbeaten with a win and a draw.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Mohammad Nawaz; Seriton Fernandes, Donachie, Gonzalez, Gama; Edu Bedia, Rodrigues, Brandon Fernandes; Alexander, Angulo, Jorge Ortiz
Subhashish Roy; Ashutosh, Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder; Lalengmawia, Camara, Lalrempuia; Meitei, Appiah, Machado
2 goals & 7 assists in Indian Football League 2019-20
12 goals in Ekstraklasa 2019-20
2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
4 goals in League One 2019-20
1 goal in Indian Football League 2020-21
4 goals in Indian Football League 2019-20