FC Goa’s clash against Bengaluru FC on Saturday night represents Juan Ferrando’s men with the opportunity to build further momentum. The Gaurs showed both grit and guile to overcome SC East Bengal 4-3 earlier this week in a game that saw Goa take the lead on four separate occasions.
The win, the first of the season for FC Goa was a timely boost for the Men in Orange after enduring a torrid start to the season owing to three losses in as many games to begin their campaign.
Juan Ferrando, the FC Goa head coach, spoke of the shot in the arm that his team received after capturing their first three points.
“In high performance sports like ours, you work to win, so the 3 points help us to better face the preparation of the next game,” the Spaniard stated.
The gaffer reverted to a change in tactical approach following the dismal showing in the opening games. He, however, felt that tactics were not the most important aspect in effecting the turnaround.
“I’m happy with the attitude shown by the players. After three defeats, teams tend to lose strength psychologically, but we kept fighting,” opined Ferrando. “I congratulate the attitude of the foreign players, the non-regulars in the starting 11 and those on the bench. In this case, for me, the system and tactics are secondary.”
With Bengaluru reeling from consecutive defeats in their last two games, this gives the Gaurs the perfect opportunity to further inflict damage on the Blues. Another three points will not move the Gaurs to midtable but also provide a much-needed kickstart to their campaign.
Heading into this fascinating fixture, here are 10 things you should know about the game:
0 – FC Goa have never kept a clean sheet against Bengaluru. The only time the Blues failed to find the back of the net in the regulation 90 minutes was in the ISL final of the 2018/19 season where a Rahul Bheke goal in the 117th minute helped them script a win.
4 – Having missed the majority of the pre season owing to an injury sustained in the Durand Cup and beginning the season from the bench, Jorge Ortiz has started to come into his own in the last two games. The fleet-footed Spanish forward has raked up 4 goal contributions
8 – Bengaluru FC have been the first to score in 8 of the last 9 games the two sides have come up against each other. The only time the Gaurs did score first was in their penultimate league game of last season, when Juan Ferrando saw his men come out 2-1 winners.
9 – Bengaluru FC have not been able to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 9 games. The last the Blues were able to blank a side was on February 5, 2021 when they played out a goalless draw against Chennaiyin FC. The Gaurs are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
13 – One expects Saturday night’s clash to be a high intensity one with high pressing a norm. The two sides lead the league in Challenge Intensity Index (Number of challenges and interceptions made by defending team per minute opponent’s ball possession). While FC Goa lead the league with 13, Bengaluru FC are a close second at 12.3.
26 – Alberto Noguera’s brace in the last game was the first time an FC Goa player playing as a midfielder has scored more than one 1 goal in a game in 26 ISL matches. Hugo Boumous was the last player to do so when he scored twice in the 5-0 drubbing of Jamshedpur FC in the last league game of the 2019/20 season.
53 – Only Hyderabad FC records more interceptions in a game than Bengaluru. The Blues average 53 interceptions per game. FC Goa, on the other hand, have recorded only 41 interceptions per game through their first 4 games. Only Jamshedpur FC have a lower number.
68 – Saturday night’s game will pit two sides in the ISL with the highest possession during games. FC Goa, on average enjoy 66% of the possession while Bengaluru are second in the league with an average percentage of possession of 60%.
90 – Only Hyderabad FC (93) launch more attacks than FC Goa (90) per game in the ISL this season. Bengaluru are a close third 88 attacks per game to their name.
543 – FC Goa leads the league in terms of number of passes per game (543) with Bengaluru a close second with 460 per game. The Gaurs also lead the league in terms of pass accuracy at 85%.