PANAJI: FC Goa play hosts to Bengaluru FC in the Gaurs’ first game of the Indian Super League season on Sunday in a repeat of the 2018/19 ISL final. This is the first time the two sides will meet for their respective season-openers.
A rivalry which has been etched as a ‘top-of-the-table’ affair in recent times will see the beginning of the Juan Ferrando era for FC Goa. Whilst the games have always brought forth a spectacle to behold for everyone, the Blues hold an edge over the Gaurs, remaining unbeaten in the last six encounters between the sides.
Here are some stats and that you need to need to keep in mind before kick-off:
0 – The Gaurs are yet to keep a clean sheet against Bengaluru FC in 7 games against the Blues. The current holders of the ISL League Winners’ Shield, FC Goa has recorded 1 win in 7 games against the side from the Garden City.
1 – Ferran Corominas is the only player in the history of the Indian Super League to have scored a hat-trick in this fixture. The Spaniard struck three in the Gaurs’ only win over the Blues, a 4-3 home win in the 2017/18 season. He is also Goa’s highest-scoring player in this fixture with 4 goals to his name. His 2 assists also are the highest for FC Goa in this fixture.
1 – Brandon Fernandes is the only Indian to have scored a goal for FC Goa in a game against Bengaluru FC in 7 games against the Blues. The midfielder scored the equaliser for the Gaurs in their 1-2 defeat at home in the 2018/19 season.
2 – FC Goa and Bengaluru FC are the only two teams to have made the ISL Playoffs each and every time during the last three seasons. Bengaluru FC currently holds the record for the highest number of points during the league phase of the ISL with 40 during their 2017/18 season. The Gaurs meanwhile recorded the Club’s highest last season with 39, which is also the second-highest for a team in the ISL league phase.
3 – Miku is the leading scorer for Bengaluru FC in games against FC Goa with 3 goals to his name. He scored twice in the Gaurs’ 4-3 home win in 2017 before netting his third in a 3-0 win at the Kanteerava during the 2018/19 season.
5 – The contests between FC Goa and Bengaluru FC have always been feisty ones – resulting in a total of 5 red cards in 7 games. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu opened the account with a red in the first-ever clash between the two sides. In subsequent games, Nishu Kumar, Mohamed Ali, Dimas Delgado and Ahmed Jahouh have been sent off.
6 – Bengaluru FC scored first in each of the last 6 games between the sides. The only time the Gaurs were able to record a victory against Bengaluru FC, FC Goa scored first, courtesy of a Ferran Corominas strike in the 16th minute of the game.
7 – Of the current FC Goa squad, Seriton Fernandes has started in all 7 games FC Goa have played against Bengaluru FC. The right-back was picked by the Gaurs in the 2017 ISL Draft and has been a regular fixture in the team ever since.
7 – Lenny Rodrigues is the only player to have played for both teams in the fixture. Fondly known as ‘Mr Goa’, Lenny started both games for Bengaluru in the 2 games in the 2017/18 season. The Goan native has then gone on to start 5 games for the Gaurs since the 2018/19 season.
10 – Mohammad Nawaz will become the first goalkeeper in FC Goa history to record double-digits clean sheets as a Gaur if he starts the game against Bengaluru FC and manages to blank the Blues. In 2 season with FC Goa, Nawaz has recorded a total of 9 clean sheets. He played half the season during 2018-19 after an injury cut his season short.
41 – Since signing for FC Goa in 2018, Lenny Rodrigues is the only player to have started all games in the Indian Super League. He has featured in the starting line up for 41 games consecutively for the Gaurs. (Agencies)