Sergio Lobera has earned the reputation of producing the most aesthetic brand of football in India. FC Goa have been considered a force to be reckoned with for two seasons now and the Spaniard has done a great job in building a competent squad.
However, he needs something concrete to establish a legacy – a trophy. For all his achievements of building a strong squad, producing beautiful football and helping Ferran Corominas establish himself as the best striker in the Indian Super League (ISL), Lobera has always found himself inches short of laying hands on silverware.
In his first season at the club, the Spaniard led Goa to a spot in the play-offs of the ISL. After playing out a 1-1 draw at home, Goa conceded three goals away from home against Chennaiyin FC to be eliminated from the competition.
Goa did have a chance to ensure that they would not finish the season empty-handed as they made it into the semi-finals of the Super Cup. But a narrow 1-0 defeat to East Bengal sent them packing and ensured they remained trophyless.
In the 2018-19 season of the ISL, Goa finished second in the league stages, only behind eventual champions Bengaluru FC. The Gaurs looked more dangerous than ever and even fixed their issues at the back, which was their weakest link until that point.
After a dominating 5-2 aggregate win over Mumbai City FC in the play-offs, Goa set up a summit clash against Bengaluru. Lobera’s men conceded a winner in the 117th minute to face heartbreak for the third time in the past one year or so.
It’s true that under Lobera, Goa play the most entertaiining brand of football in India. However, it is time that Goa make their dominance count and deliver a top notch performance in the important games. After all, trophies are the best objective judges for any manager and Lobera too would affirm the same.
They are without influential midfielder Ahmed jahouh who wasn't registered for the tournament and it remains to be seen if his absence would have an affect in the final.
Will Lobera be able to lead Goa to a win over Chennaiyin FC, clinch the Super Cup to win their first ever piece of silverware?