Riding on the joy of two successive wins, FC Goa will look to extend its winning spree when it locks horns with high-flying Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) game at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday.
The Gaurs recovered from an abysmal start to the season that saw them lose their three opening games, before recovering to claim wins over SC East Bengal and Bengaluru FC.
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The side has largely depended on the expertise of Jorge Ortiz, who will miss Saturday’s clash after picking up a red card in the previous match. The Spaniard has been a key element in Juan Ferrando’s side as he has racked up three assists and a goal in five games.
“The most important thing for me right now is focusing on tomorrow’s game against Hyderabad, the 29 players in our squad must be ready for the game. Of course, injuries exist in this case and one red card in the case of Jorge [Ortiz]. But our focus is only towards the next 90 minutes,” said Ferrando on the eve of the game.
Aware of Hyderabad’s high-press playing style, Ferrando added that his team will need to pay attention to its transitional play. “It will be a difficult game because Hyderabad has a well-balanced team with young players and experienced players like Juanan, Hali [Halicharan Narzary] and Ogbeche [Ogbeche. We need to put our attention in transitions because sometimes they find the spaces, they know the timing, what is the best moment of transition in attack, what is the best moment to keep calm and be ready for positional attack.”
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Hyderabad FC began the season in fine fashion and is unbeaten in four games. Manuel Marquez’s side handed NorthEast United FC a 5-1 thrashing in its last game and is currently placed third in the League.
Hyderabad has one of the most balanced units in the League, with the likes of Akash Mishra and Asish Rai excelling in defence while Ogbeche shoulders the goal-scoring responsibilities. Chinglensana Singh and Juanan have also looked really good, while youngster Rohit Danu has shown plenty of promise. A win over FC Goa would take Hyderabad to the second spot on the table.
“It’s another tough game. FC Goa lost three consecutive games after it was unbeaten at the end of the last season for so many matches and now the club has changed the system in the last two games and is playing good football. FC Goa is an interesting team. It plays a style of football that I like,” he said.