Fatorda (Goa) [India], November 26 (ANI): FC Goa will square off against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday, with the Goan club looking to extend its four-match unbeaten streak.
For the first time since the season's beginning, the Gaurs will be aiming for back-to-back victories, while the Blues will be eager to snap their four-game losing run.
With a 3-0 victory over ATK Mohun Bagan FC last week, FC Goa made a perfect recovery from their defeat to Kerala Blasters. With his fourth goal of the season in the match, Noah Wail Sadaoui, who had been on the bench, sealed the victory for the Gaurs.
In a tie with Abdenasser El Khayati of Chennaiyin FC and Ivan Kaliuzhny of Kerala Blaster FC, Sadaoui now has the joint-most goals scored in the ISL 2022-23 season.
Sadaoui's place in the starting eleven has been taken by Alvaro Vazquez, who has recovered from an injury. The striker has played in the last two games but has failed to score.
"It's going to be a very tough game. We will play against a team that is not in a good mood right now, but they have very good players who have a winning mentality. Tomorrow will be one of the toughest, if not the toughest, games we have played till now," said FC Goa Head Coach Carlos Pena as quoted by the ISL website.
Bengaluru FC enters this match with an uncharacteristically poor run of form. The Blues were defeated by Mumbai City FC last week, falling by a score of 4-0. With the setback, they tied their record of four straight losses set during the ISL's 2020-21 season.
The bigger issue is still that the Blues have lost four straight games without scoring, which is unprecedented in their ISL history. If they lose to the Gaurs, this will be their poorest league start ever. Simon Grayson's team has scored the joint-fewest goals thus far with just two goals in six games.
"After the game against Mumbai, the players saw a different side of me in the dressing room. Publicly, I have always backed the players, but the second-half performance did not warrant any backing from me because it was not good enough. But I have seen a good reaction and a positive vibe around the players in training after that and also noted an edge that they have been missing so far. That is the reaction in training, but we have to see how the reaction is on the pitch against Goa," said Grayson.
There have been 11 Hero ISL matches between the two teams, including the 2018-19 championship where Bengaluru FC piped FC Goa to raise the trophy. The Blues have triumphed five times while the Gaurs have only triumphed three times. (ANI)