As the Indian Super League (ISL) slowly but steadily heads towards the business end of the ongoing 2023-24 season, FC Goa finds itself at a crossroads in their pursuit of glory.

The Goan outfit, which started the campaign in scintillating fashion, has hit a stumbling block in recent weeks, grappling with a three-game losing streak. And now, with aspirations of securing a top spot and ultimately clinching the title, the Men in Orange face off against Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Wednesday.

Slated for a 7:30 pm kickoff, this clash against the Islanders is pivotal for the Gaurs, who will hence settle for nothing less than all three points on offer. Although currently in fifth place, a win for FC Goa will help them move higher up the points table and stake a claim for the ISL League title.

Ahead of the high-stakes clash, FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez addressed the media in a pre-match press conference, expressing a blend of determination and optimism. He acknowledged the challenges posed by their recent downturn in form but remained resolute in his belief in the team’s capabilities. “In football you can win, draw or lose. Sometimes you don’t deserve a win or a loss, this is normal. We can speak about injuries, bans and a lot of other things, and it’s true that we lost two important players, but as a team we need to react as soon as possible,” the Spaniard asserted.

When questioned about the significance of the upcoming fixture, he said, “Yes, it’s a very difficult game, I was just speaking with Petr (Kratky, Mumbai City FC head coach) and Hiroshi (Miyazawa, Kratky’s deputy). I think that this is the normal situation for them (Mumbai), to be fighting for the top spot on the table.

“It’s true that the style of the team is changing in some aspects, but they have become better and are more competitive. The game is very important, just like every other game. Any one of the top five teams can be champions, and any of the next six teams and reach the playoffs as the sixth team,” he further added.

“Right now, we will be playing more against ourselves rather than any opponent. Football changes very fast. If we win tomorrow, we’re climbing to third place. The mood is always better when we win than when we lose. I always say this, the way a team reacts after defeats, is when you see the real character of a team,” Manolo Marquez concluded.

For FC Goa, the task ahead looms large but not insurmountable. With the league standings finely poised, a victory against Mumbai City FC would not only halt their slide but also propel them back into contention for top honours.

The challenge, however, extends beyond securing three points on Wednesday night. FC Goa must rediscover their winning formula and reignite the spark that characterized their early-season dominance.

As they prepare to lock horns with Mumbai City FC, FC Goa understands the gravity of the moment. A win would not only elevate them to third place in the points table but also instill renewed confidence and momentum for the contests that lie ahead, including crucial home matches against the likes of East Bengal and Bengaluru FC and more games on the road versus Jamshedpur FC and Punjab FC.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here