Now established as the league leaders with a staggering 35 goals scored in their 16 games, the Gaurs have once again captured the imagination of the ISL fans with their attacking-brand of football.
Naturally, the spotlight has once again fallen on Ferran Corominas with the Spanish striker well on his way to a second consecutive ‘Golden Boot’ award after grabbing 14 goals so far.
While the prolific Corominas has once again stolen the show, Goa’s other attackers have not been too far behind with the likes of Brandon Fernandes and Jackichand Singh having the seasons of their lives.
The two wingers have flourished in Lobera’s set-up on either flanks and have been instrumental in the side’s prolific output in the opposition goal.
Local boy Brandon is only in his second season with the ISL club and has continued to build on the promise he showed in 2017-18 where he bagged four assists in his 15 appearances.
Once heralded as one of the most promising talents in the country to come out of his age group, injuries had stalled Brandon’s development and progress as a player until things finally started to turn around last season.
Now, the 24-year-old has established himself as a regular in Lobera’s squad and has already accumulated over 1000 minutes on the pitch this season. While the youngster has always had an eye for a good pass, he has also got amongst the goals in the current campaign and has two so far besides his name.
Similarly, Jackichand’s star seemed to be on the rise when he made his name for Royal Wahingdoh in the I-League but the winger had failed to hit the initial height he had promised with Goa becoming the fourth ISL club he has played for over the last few years.
His stints with FC Pune City, Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters all showed glimpses of his talent but never has the winger gone on to have as consistent a run as he has had with the Gaurs. It was at Kerala last season that Jackichand’s output shot up with the Manipur man scoring two goals and grabbing three assists in 17 appearances.
One of those goals came against Goa itself and it was perhaps that display that convinced Lobera and the team management to take a gamble on the winger for the current campaign and it has been one which has paid off handsomely.
The 26-year-old has been growing into his role as the season has progressed and is now perhaps playing the best football he has ever played in the ISL. While the business end of the league still remains to come, Jackichand has already gone one better than his goal output from last season and has struck thrice for Goa in his 16 appearances.
It has not just been the numbers which have been the impressive aspect of Brandon and Jackichand’s performances this season but it is their overall contribution to the team’s play which has caught the eye.
The two wingers have not looked out of place in a well-drilled Goa unit and have completely bought into Lobera’s approach. The team has continued to play some slick football in the attacking third and Jackichand and Brandon have both played their respective roles to perfection so far.
It helps that Lobera’s approach is centred on keeping possession and moving it quickly with some neat inter-changes but the duo have definitely taken their games to the next level under the Spanish coach’s guidance.
Indian and Goan football fans will now be hoping that Jackichand and Brandon can keep up this impressive form for some time to come.