ISL 2017-18: FC Goa’s cavalier approach good on the eye but backfires

The Gaurs paid the price for some shabby defending at the back as they now have the second worst defensive record in the league…

If there would be an award for the club who plays the most attractive brand of attacking football, FC Goa would win it hands down. The deft passing, movement shown by the likes of Ferran Corominas, Manuel Lanzarote and Edu Bedia has captured the attention of football fans, not just in Goa but across the country.

However, if there is an award for shambolic defensive organization – FC Goa would come a close second behind Delhi Dynamos. One look at the teams who have leaked the most number of goals this season and it’s not difficult to point that their recruitment in the goalkeeping department has been shoddy.

On Sunday, FC Goa scored three goals on home soil and still ended up on the losing side. Seriton Fernandes was rightly sent-off for his foul on Everton Santos. The penalty awarded to Mumbai City FC was legitimate. For once, Goa cannot complain that the decisions went against them unlike the earlier fixture when these two sides met in Mumbai.

You have got to question why Goa continued to attack after getting the equalizer in the 78th minute. They continued to throw players forward hoping to catch Mumbai off-guard and score the winner. A more sensible approach, at least on the planet in which we exist, would have been to shore up the defence and midfield.

FC Goa Mumbai City FC ISL 4 2017/2018

Pronay Halder, a player known for his defensive capabilities, was being wasted on the bench as Goa once again paid the price for being too attacking. The likes of Mohammed Ali, Mandar Dessai and Chinglensana Singh were not equipped to deal with the threat of Thiago Santos and Everton Santos.

Sergio Lobera’s side had no answer to the sheer brute force of Achille Emana as he was bulldozing through the soft midfield of Goa.

Goa only have themselves to blame for the result. A team which scored four goals on the road can certainly not be termed defensive. And if they are defensive, better to be one and score four to win the game than being cavalier and end up on the losing side. A more apt term for Mumbai’s tactics would be being practical and realistic.

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The world remembers winners and not the teams which play the most attractive football. FC Goa have seven more matches in the league stage to make it into the top four. They have two relatively easier matches at home – against Delhi Dynamos and ATK. The rest of their games are against some of the top teams.

Three of their players, namely Lanzarote, Ahmed Jahouh and Seriton Fernandes, have three yellow cards. Brandon Fernandes, Manuel Arana and Bedia have two each. Four yellow cards would see their key personnel miss important games in the business end of the league stage.

FC Goa needs to be more alert as they seek a place in the top four. Not always being attacking is praised, sometimes it’s good to have a defensive mindset.