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ISL 2018-19: Set-pieces and Udanta's pace on the break crucial for Bengaluru against Goa

1:28 AM EDT 3/16/19
Udanta Singh Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC can exploit Goa's high back-line via quick transitions or take it to set-pieces to beat them...

We can count the hours until Bengaluru FC and FC Goa go face-to-face for the third time this season but with something much bigger at stake – the Indian Super League trophy.

Carles Cuadrat’s men have bagged three points against the Gaurs on both occasions in the league phase of the tournament and are, on paper, the favourites to lift the title on Sunday. Probably, Bengaluru can learn a thing or two from Goa's defeats this season to ensure they finally land the title.

To start with, Goa have conceded 11 goals in a losing cause this season. Their defeats read 4-1 to Jamshedpur, 2-0 to Pune, 2-1 and 3-0 to Bengaluru.

Of the 11 goals, four have been a direct or indirect result of a set-piece. Goa are not the best at dealing with set pieces and conceded through the same in three of their four defeats. In the one game where they did not concede through from a free-kick or a corner, Marko Stankovic converted a penalty to make it 2-0 to FC Pune City.

Cuadrat is known for his mastery of set-pieces and this could prove to be the deciding factor in the tie. Also, Goa’s high-backline is susceptible to quick transitions. Bengaluru can use this to work their way past the Goan defence.

Four of the above-mentioned 11 goals were conceded through counters or quick transitions which materialised due to Goa’s high back-line.

Also, it comes as no surprise that Goa have conceded these goals at a time when they were chasing the game. The entire defensive lines shifts higher and higher when the Gaurs are in desperate need of a goal and a quick counter comes handy at a time like that.

Udanta Singh’s pace will be extremely crucial in such a scenario. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu floating a ball for the 22-year-old to chase is a move we have seen too often – in the Indian Super League and the Asian Cup. This combination can make the difference, should Goa find themselves chasing the game at any point.

A mastery of set-pieces and Udanta’s pace on the break could be the key for Bengaluru against Goa.