FC Goa vs. Hyderabad FC: 10 things to know about the game

The Hero ISL cup during the opening ceremony and first match of the Indian Super League ( ISL ) between the Kerala Blasters FC and ATK held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi, India on the 20th October 2019. Photo by: Vipin Pawar / SPORTZPICS for ISL
The Hero ISL cup during the opening ceremony and first match of the Indian Super League ( ISL ) between the Kerala Blasters FC and ATK held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi, India on the 20th October 2019. Photo by: Vipin Pawar / SPORTZPICS for ISL
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FC Goa vs. Hyderabad FC: 10 things to know about the game

Gaurs look to build upon their wins over SC East Bengal and Bengaluru FC ~

Mumbai, December 17, 2021: There are moments in life when history means very little. FC Goa’s game on Saturday against Hyderabad FC will certainly be a case when the Gaurs throw the history books out of the way.

The mood in the FC Goa camp will be much better after their win against Bengaluru FC in their last game. It was a game where Juan Ferrando’s men showed real guile and found their attacking mojo back as they dominated the first half.

However, they had to resort to their grit to eke out the vital three points to make it two wins on the trot. Now they will look to that feel-good factor in the hope of a third consecutive win, this time at the expense of Hyderabad FC.

The task, though, is easier said than done. Hyderabad FC have carried on from their strong performances last season and currently sit in third place on the league table with three wins from their five games.

The Nizams are unbeaten in their last four (with three wins amongst) and will look to prolong their own streak of good results.

Saturday night, thus promises to be a thriller as two strong sides – both with a penchant for playing the game with flair go head to head. Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of their clash:

0: FC Goa are yet to experience a defeat at the hands of Hyderabad FC. 1-0 and 4-1 wins helped the Gaurs do the double over Hyderabad in 2019/20. The previous season, a late blitz from Juan Ferrando’s men helped them eke out a 2-1 win in their first encounter. A goalless draw in their second meeting helped the Gaurs secure a place in the playoffs while knocking Hyderabad out of contention.

2.4: No team is flagged for offsides as much as FC Goa. The Gaurs are have been flagged offside an average of 2.4 times per game

4.1:  No one has suffered more fouls per 90 minutes than Jorge Ortiz. The Spaniard has been fouled on average 4.1 times per 90 minutes during this season’s ISL games.

5: No other team has conceded more goals from outside the box than FC Goa (5) with Hyderabad yet to concede a strike from long distance. The Gaurs, in fact, lead the league in terms of average distance of goals conceded at 19.4. Hyderabad are the second lowest on the table at 8.3 m.

6: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, despite his inconsistent start to the season, leads the league in ‘supersaves’ with 6 to his name.

*Super Saves can be defined as a stop which is more than simply putting a hand on the ball. They often involve a degree of athleticism and bravery, with the goalie jumping like a gazelle to tip the ball over the bar or diving at the feet of an oncoming opponent. They often come in one-on-one situations where the keeper is the last line of defence between striker and goal.

7: Goa is joint top when it comes to conceding from set-pieces. The Gaurs have conceded 7 of their 12 goals from set-pieces, the same as SC East Bengal. Hyderabad, on the other hand, have conceded thrice.

55: Hyderabad have enjoyed supremacy when it comes to aerial duels. The Nizams, at the time of writing, lead the league when it comes to percentage of aerial challenges won at 55%. Despite their set-piece woes, the Gaurs have also won an impressive 54% of their aerial duels.

56: Hyderabad leads the league in interceptions at 56 per match with 14 of them coming inside the opposition’s half (also highest in the league). While Goa intercepts the ball on average 11 times in the opposition’s half, they have only been able to record 43 interceptions per game (third lowest).

76: After winning the Indian Super League Winning Pass of the League last season for his league-leading 8 assists, Alberto Noguera has had another impressive start to the campaign. His 2 goals and an assist are accompanied by some silky dribbling skills with the Spaniard successfully completing 76% of his dribbles. No one barring one other has more success at dribbling the ball as successfully as him having attempted a minimum of 15 dribbles. 

91: If the Gaurs are to get the better of Hyderabad on Saturday night, they need to neutralise their lynchpin in the middle of the park, Joao Victor. The Brazilian shields their backline and is the main instigator in midfield and that is reflected in the number. The midfielder wins 63% of the challenges he goes into with an astonishing 71% success when it comes to aerial duels. He also leads the team in ball recoveries, interceptions and free ball pick ups.

Juan Ferrando: We need to keep on improving, not be satisfied with two wins

FC Goa’s back to back wins against SC East Bengal and Bengaluru FC have breathed fresh air into their ISL campaign. The six points not only have them back into the mix of the things in the league table, but also has served as a shot in the arm after the Gaurs failed to muster a single point from their three opening encounters. 

Spanish head coach Juan Ferrando, however, distanced himself from reading too much into their improved displays and sounded out that he would rather look at areas of improvement rather than take pleasure in the ways the team has gotten better. 

Speaking to fcgoa.in ahead of the game, the gaffer said, “Feelings are better, of course, after two victories. However, we must stay focused and keep working in the same direction. We cannot be satisfied after just two wins. 

“I think we still have to improve a lot. I do not want to assess whether we have been better or have done better. Obviously positive results help to see things a different way, but today as a team there is still a lot of room for improvement.”

The two results have come since Juan Ferrando signalled a change in formation with the Gaurs deploying three centre backs for the last two games. He, however, didn’t want to read too much into the shift.

“The idea of how to play is the same,” remarked Ferrando. “As a coach, my job is to put players in situations where they can perform their best. And in this instance, the change was to try and  place players where we think we should retain superiority in numbers.”

He did, however, share his happiness with the performances of Aibanbha Dohling and Mohamed Ali, two names whose appearance in FC Goa colours have been sporadic. The two, however, have helped the Gaurs find some semblance of consistency in the backline. 

“I am happy with their performances. When you don’t have too many opportunities, I think it’s difficult to get it right,” opined Ferrando. “However, the important thing is that all the players are ready when the team needs them. And in this sense everyone is doing very well.”

Hyderabad, a tough test

In Hyderabad FC, the Gaurs will face the side they knocked out in their final league game of last season which also, by the way, sealed their own place in the final four. The Nizams are a team that FC Goa are yet to face a defeat against, but it would do well for them to not read much into the history of their clashes. 

Hyderabad have grown stronger with each passing season with the overhaul at the beginning of the last paying dividends. A team full of young Indian players, known foreign names and a philosophy of football to fall back upon, Manolo Marquez’s men have looked impressive in all their 5 outings and haven’t faced defeat in any of their last four games. 

Juan Ferrando echoed the threat ahead of his side. Speaking of his opponents on Saturday night, the Spaniard said, “Hyderabad is a very good team and has performed great so far. Last season they were one step away from playing in the playoffs.

“I think they are working to grow the team, with a good squad and good signings of foreign players.”

Praise for Devendra Murgaokar

Devendra Murgaokar, in the limited time afforded to him last season, had scored once in his first ISL season with the Gaurs. He began this season with a flurry, finishing as the joint top scorer in FC Goa’s triumphant Durand Cup campaign.   

He has continued to impress in the ISL. After an assist against SC East Bengal, he impressed again against Bengaluru FC. The win over the Blues was arguably Murgaokar’s best showing in an FC Goa shirt – the forward ending the night with the winner and an assist to his name.

The performance drew high praise from Ferrando. 

“Devendra has never stopped working, whether he was in or out of the squad for matches,” said Ferrando, speaking on the forward. 

“He has always worked to help the team and I think right now he is enjoying the result of his great and constant daily work. Every praise thrown at him is well deserved.”

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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