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Football ISL: Goa, Kerala seek first win of the season
Fatorda (Goa), December 5, 2020
After failing to register a win in their opening three games, Goa and Kerala Blasters will be desperate to grab their first three points in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) when they face each other at the Fatorda Stadium here on Sunday.
Both sides have faced each other in 12 meetings with Goa having the upper hand, winning eight while losing thrice. The Gaurs are also on a six-match unbeaten run against Kerala and will aim to continue that.
However, both sides find themselves in the bottom half of the table with just two points each. And there is a lot to worry about for both coaches as they head into this contest.
While Kerala have dominated possession against all their opponents so far, they haven't been efficient in the final third of the pitch and have struggled to create chances. Kerala are yet to score a goal from open play this season. Both their goals so far have come from set-pieces. At the back, Kibu Vicuna's side has appeared shaky.
The two-time finalists have also been dealt a huge blow with captain Sergio Cidoncha likely to be out of action for a while.
"Every team is a different challenge," said Vicuna. "It's true we have more similarities with Goa because of a similar style of play. It's going to be a battle to have more of the ball. But they are going to play their cards and so will we."
Meanwhile, Goa have managed the highest possession in the Hero ISL so far. But despite that, Juan Ferrando’s men have also dropped points from promising positions in their previous two encounters.
The Gaurs have also shipped in four goals, all of which have come through set-pieces. They will be hoping to tighten things up at the back. They are set to be without midfielder Alberto Noguera, who will miss the game through suspension.
"For our supporters, I want them to enjoy the game because it is two teams trying to play football. I'm sure it's going to be a beautiful game," said Ferrando.
With both teams possessing a similar style of play, fans can expect an open contest with plenty of entertainment.