Goa will take on Odisha in Indian Football League on Wednesday night to tight its position in top four. Goa are coming off six consecutive draws, while Odisha lost top Northeast 3-1 in its last outing.
Match Timings: Feb 17, 7:30 PM IST
Goa will enter into Fatorda Stadium eying the playoff spot. The hosts couldn’t break its consistency of draw matches and created a new record of six consecutive draw matches. Goa’s last victory came on January 14 and since then, they are unbeaten but winless too. Out of 17 matches, Gaurs have appeared in nine draw matches, equal to Chennai. During six draw games, three times Goa scored the final goal and surprisingly all three equaliser came from Ishan Pandita. After netting an equaliser against Mumbai, Pandita scored another one against Chennai to avoid a defeat.
Chennai looked solid in the first few minutes and built the pressure on Goa’s defense. It paid off with the first strike from Sylvestr in the 13th minute. Chennai didn’t enjoy the lead and conceded a penalty as Eli Sabia handled a cross from Alexander Romario Jesuraj. Igor Angulo got the better of Vishal Kaith after a second chance. Angulo came close to trouble Vishal Kaith from distance in the second half. Dheeraj made a mistake and allowed Chhangte to provide Chennai a lead. Goa were heading towards a defeat but Ishan Pandita came out as a big survivor with an injury-time goal. Goa are still in contention but they cannot afford the current pattern against Odisha. They desperately need a victory to boost the playoff hopes.
Meanwhile, Kalinga Warriors suffered another defeat against Northeast, following a hard-fought draw with Kerala. Odisha had the worst season in Indian Football League with just one win which came against Kerala last month. Out of 17 matches, Odisha lost 10 matches and they haven't crossed the double-digit mark in points. Kalinga Warriors lost three matches out of its last five matches. With 9 points in hand, Odisha is going to take the bottom finish this season.
Northeast dominated them in the first half and it made all the difference. Luis Machado scored the first goal in the 9th minute and Brown doubled the lead in the 19th minute. Highlanders put more pressure when Machado scored another in the 24th minute. Odisha looked like a pure mediocre side but Inman netted a goal in stoppage-time before the first-half break to avoid conceding a clean-sheet. Odisha could have reduced the gap but they didn’t avail the chances. The result doesn’t matter for them but they would look to end this season on a positive note.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Dheeraj Singh; Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, Adil Khan, Saviour Gama, Edu Bedia, Glan Martins, Jorge Ortiz, Alberto Noguera, Alexander Jesuraj, Igor Angulo
Current Form: D D D D D
Previous Match:2-2 draw with Chennai
Arshdeep Singh; Mohd Sajid Dhot, Gaurav Bora, Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor, Rakesh Pradhan, Bradden Inman, Vinit Rai, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Manuel Onwu
Current Form: L D L L D
Previous Match:3-1 defeat to Northeast
12 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
4 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
5 assists in Indian Football League 2020-21