The Face-Off #HFCFCG

Indian Super League, Round 8

Ahead of our clash against FC Goa in the Indian Super League 2020-21, we take a quick look at the squads, the opponents’ form, the key players to look out for and more…

Coach

FC Goa appointed Juan Ferrando as the head coach ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. The Spaniard has brought in four of his countrymen, Igor Angulo, Jorge Ortiz, Alberto Noguera and Ivan Gonzalez and his familiarity with their playing style has been crucial to FC Goa’s performance this season.

His fondness for an attacking brand of football has reflected in FC Goa’s performance in the season. Despite being the second-youngest coach in the ISL this year, Ferrando brings managerial experience from his coaching stints all over Europe.

Squad

Despite many strong names like Mourtada Fall, Hugo Boumous, Ahmed Jahouh, Mandar Rao Desai, Jackichand Singh and Ferran Corominas moving away from the Gaurs, the addition of Alberto Noguera, Ivan Gonzalez, Jorge Ortiz, James Donachie and Igor Angulo have ensured a consistent performance for the home side. Alongside a few young Indian signings, Ferrando has managed to continue the style of attacking football Goa has been known for.

Defender Chinglesana Singh, and youngsters Lalawmpuia and Sweden Fernandes have made the switch from FC Goa to Hyderabad ahead of the 2020-21 season and will be up against their old side for the first time.

Form

Juan Ferrando’s men have so far had a mixed bag of results with wins against Kerala, Odisha and Jamshedpur, losses against Mumbai, ATKMB, and Chennaiyin and draws with Bengaluru and NorthEast United.

With precision in passing, possessional organization and pace in counter-attacks, the Gaurs have dominated the majority of their games this season. Facilitated by Noguera, Bedia, Brandon and Ortiz, the FC Goa midfield has frequently created problems for the opposition. The Hyderabad backline and midfield will be watchful of their linking up abilities and initiatives in the attack.

Key Men

Igor Angulo (FCG)

Having scored 8 of FC Goa’s 10 goals in 8 games, Angulo sits atop the ISL 2020-21 scorers list. The Spaniard’s finishing abilities are instrumental to FC Goa’s performance as the club has not lost a single game where Angulo has scored. His strengths lie in good positioning and instinctive finishing which will make him a key man to look out for.

Brandon Fernandes (FCG)

Often referred to as Goa’s extra foreigner, the creative Indian midfielder has become an influential presence in the middle by showcasing his game sense and dependability. His tricky footwork, ability to create consistent opportunities and attacking attempts on goal enable him to cause trouble in the opponent box. He will work in tandem with Jorge Ortiz to test the Hyderabad defence on Wednesday.

Ivan Gonzalez (FCG)

Adding solidity to FC Goa’s defence, Gonzalez is known as the anchor in the side’s backline with his interceptive blocks, passing accuracy and ability to build-up play from the back. He partners well with Donachie in the central defence to make definitive clearances. He will look to hold the fort for Goa’s and keep Hyderabad FC’s attacking threats at bay.

Halicharan Narzary (HFC)

As a crucial member of the Hyderabad attack, the Indian international has stepped up and displayed great distribution and control of the ball. He has been able to link up play in the attack across the field through some good collaborations with Aridane Santana, Liston Colaco, Mohammed Yasir and Akash Mishra.  His deceiving footwork, quick passing and threatening shots will make him a menace in the Gaurs’ half.

Joao Victor (HFC)

A commanding leader on the pitch, Joao has succeeded at his midfield duties by providing support to the attack as well as defence. His possessional organization, attacking strengths and interceptive clearances enable him to act as a glue for the team in the middle of the field. His ability to move around the pitch and engage with the ball effectively will make him an all-round threat for FC Goa.

Odei Onaindia (HFC)

Standing sturdy as a wall in the back, Odei has consistently been one of the best players for Hyderabad keeping the side out of trouble in critical times. His defensive instinct allows him to immediately thwart attacking attempts in the box. Against the Gaurs frontline, Odei will be facing a tough challenge. But he will aim to frustrate the FC Goa attack with his strong tackles, quick pace, powerful clearances and composure in set-pieces.

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