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  • ISL 2021/22: FC Goa vs NorthEast United FC, Match Preview

    Published on December 4, 2021

    After being out of action for little over a week, FC Goa are back into the thick of things in the Hero ISL. Saturday sees the Gaurs take on NorthEast United in a match which sees both the sides looking for their first three points of the season.

    The Highlanders are winless in three games with just a single point under their belts thanks to a goalless draw against the Kerala Blasters. Khalid Jamil’s men lost both matches on either side of the draw, one against Bengaluru FC to begin the season before coming up short against Chennaiyin in their last foray.

    Meanwhile, the Gaurs find themselves without a point from their first two games. Straddled at the bottom of the table, Juan Ferrando will look for things to come together finally.

    With the stakes high as both teams desperately looking for a win the Saturday night encounter promises to be an enthralling encounter.

    Speaking to fcgoa.in ahead of the upcoming game, the Spaniard spoke about the current run of form and the preparations for the game.

    “Obviously, I am disappointed as the team has worked very well during the preseason, so it is difficult to cope with these first two results.”

    “It is clear that we must improve certain aspects, but mainly I believe that we must work to improve the emotional aspect. After a goal from the rival we must stay focused and keep fighting and follow the guidelines learned over training.

    “When the rival scores a goal shortly after the first one, it means there is a lack of concentration,” he added.

    Speaking on Saturday’s fixture he stated, “I don’t think it will be an easy match as both teams are tense and nervous about achieving their first positive result, the 3 points. I hope we can stay focused for 90 minutes and pay attention to the game.”

    Heading into a crucial second game, here are 10 things you should know:

    0: In 14 games between the sides, there has never been a goalless draw. In fact, a minimum of two goals have always been scored in matches between FC Goa and NorthEast United.

    1: This is the worst start to the season for NorthEast United since 2015. The Highlanders have been able to amass only one point from their first three games, which is one better than what they were able to gather in 2015 – when they lost all three of their first three games at the hands of Kerala Blasters, FC Pune City and FC Goa. 

    1: NorthEast United have kept one clean sheet ever in games against FC Goa. The Highlanders have not kept a clean sheet against the Gaurs in any of their last 9 games against their opponents on Saturday night. Their only clean sheet against Goa came in the 2016 season when they won their home leg 2-0 thanks to a brace from Emiliano Alfaro. The Gaurs have only been able to keep a clean sheet twice against their next opponents.

    2: The only other time FC Goa lost their opening two games was back in 2016, when the Gaurs three on the trot to open their campaign. That season saw Zico’s men open the ISl season with back to back losses at the hands of NorthEast United, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC.

    4: Set piece defence continues to be FC Goa’s Achilles’ heel. After conceding the majority of their goals from set pieces last season, the same continues to haunt them. Of the 6 goals conceded by Goa, 4 have come from set pieces. 

    5: Goa’s biggest win over NorthEast came in the 2018/19  season. Goals from Coro (2), Hugo Boumous, Edu Bedia and Miguel Palanca propelled the Gaurs to a 5-1 win at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda – the venue for Saturday’s fixture.

    6 – This is defensively the worst start to the season for FC Goa. The Gaurs have conceded six goals in their two games whilst scoring only once. The 2016 season saw Goa score only one goal in their first two whilst conceding 4.

    22 – NorthEast United leads the league in terms of average length of passes in the league with their passes averaging 22m. FC Goa, on the other hand, have the shortest average length of passes at 17.1 m.

    63 – Despite the two defeats, the Gaurs continue to dominate possession during games. FC Goa have maintained possession for 63% of the time, the second-highest in the league. Only Bengaluru FC has a higher possession. NorthEast is second last on the table with an average possession of 40%.

    1063 – FC Goa have not lost to NorthEast United in any of their last seven encounters against the Highlanders. By the time the players take to the field on Saturday, it will be 1063 days since the last time the Gaurs went down to NorthEast United.

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