ISL 2018-19: FC Goa's Mourtada Fall - Modou Sougou is just another striker

Mourtada Fall Modou Sougou FC Goa Mumbai City ISL 5 10242018
The 6 foot 3 inch tall defender is ready to keep his compatriot at bay...

When FC Goa roped in Mourtada Fall, the idea was to strengthen the defence which had struggled last season. The outcome has reflected well as the Gaurs conceded eight goals less in the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) as compared to the previous season.

Acknowledging the expectations drawn on him by his employers, Fall spoke to Goal about what he thinks about his performance so far.

"Goa brought me because they wanted to strengthen their defense and to help young players. A single player cannot make a difference. Football is a team sport. I came here to do my job but there were other guys with me who helped. That's why Goa did very well in defence this year," he said.

With FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera deploying Carlos Pena as a centre-back only in the second half of the season, specifically from the 5-1 win over NorthEast United on 14 December 2018, Fall has admitted that he has struck up a partnership with the Spaniard.

Mourtada Fall Mumbai City FC Goa ISL 5 02012019

"I think Pena has more experience than (Mohamed) Ali and Sana (Chinglensana Singh). He (Pena) played a lot of games at a high level before. Of course, we need to help Ali and Sana also. They are not bad and everybody has done a good job," opined the Senegalese.

"The defence has kept their positions well and the entire line of defense has done well. Defense is not only about one or two players. Seriton (Fernandes) and Mandar (Rao Dessai) also helped," he added.

The former Wydad Casablanca player also gave his take on the relatively inexperienced Mohammad Nawaz doing well this season.

"I think he is a very good goalkeeper, young also. In the years to come, I think he will get better. (He has made) a few mistakes but it is normal. Everybody makes mistakes and without mistakes, nobody will play football.

"He will learn from this (mistakes) and I have confidence in Nawaz and Naveen (Kumar). It is all about having confidence in yourself first," Fall pointed out.

As a defender, Fall is enjoying his duels with the forwards in the ISL. "There are good strikers in the ISL but I know my job," Fall began to assess. "For me, I find it better to defend than to be a striker. A striker has to dribble past the defense before they can score.

"They (strikers in ISL) have got good quality. I respect all of them but I don't face a lot of problems because I use my experience from playing against many other big strikers before."

In the upcoming semi-finals against Mumbai City FC, one such striker comes in the form of Modou Sougou who can prove lethal on his day.

"(Sougou is) my friend from Senegal. (He is) a good player. He has played at high levels before but I think of him as just another striker. I will try to block him just like any other player," Fall signed out.