FC Goa gear up for first away game of the league season against East Bengal FC

Goa, October 20, 2023: FC Goa are all set to play their first away game of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season against East Bengal FC. After a stellar start to the season with two consecutive wins at home, the Gaurs are now preparing to face the Kolkata giants at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on October 21, Saturday, with the kick-off scheduled for 8:00 pm IST.

In their previous matches, the Gaurs showcased their mettle with a 1-0 victory over Punjab FC and a thrilling 3-2 comeback win against Odisha FC, both at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.

Currently in third place on the league table with 6 points from 2 matches, a victory will help Manolo Marquez’s boys close the gap with the league leaders Mohun Bagan Super Giant, who are on 9 points from 3 games.

The Gaffer Speaks

FC Goa’s head coach Manolo Marquez expressed his anticipation for the upcoming away fixture. “This is a significant match for us. People ask me about why FC Goa are different when playing at home and playing away. I think we have to be consistently good everywhere. 15-20 years ago maybe, it was clear when you play at home or when you play away – the difference was too much. It has changed now, and teams play in the same style everywhere,” he said at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Of course, we love to play in front of our fans, but even in an away game, I wouldn’t want to make too many changes (to how the team plays). I’m very optimistic about this, and just like I’ve been saying from day one, I think that this will be a good season for us.”

“East Bengal FC have several quality players, including two of my former players Javi Siverio and Borja Herrera who were with me both in Spain and at Hyderabad FC. They have an experienced side and this will be a tough game. But then, I believe that all games are tough, and whoever performs the best on the day takes home the three points. We will try to do this on Saturday,” the Spaniard concluded.

The Numbers’ Game

The head-to-head record between FC Goa and East Bengal shows a closely contested rivalry, with the Men in Orange having secured 3 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses against the Red and Gold Brigade so far.

The Gaurs have been potent in front of goal, having scored 13 goals in their seven matches against the Kolkata-based club. However, they have also conceded 11 goals, underlining the need for a solid defensive performance.

In their most recent encounter during the ISL 2022-23 season, FC Goa emerged victorious with a 4-2 win at Fatorda. This match featured a remarkable 12-minute hat-trick by former Gaur Iker Guarrotxena, marking the second-fastest hat-trick in ISL history.

Led by Manolo Marquez, the former ISL Shield winners’ current form is impressive, with 5 wins, one draw, and one loss in 7 matches so far this season. On the other hand, East Bengal FC has displayed solid form as well, securing 5 wins, one draw, and two losses in 8 matches.

Currently positioned in seventh place on the league table with 4 points from 3 matches, East Bengal under head coach Carles Cuadrat will look to bounce back from their recent defeat against Bengaluru FC when they take on FC Goa on Saturday.

Incidentally, Cuadrat previously led Bengaluru FC to ISL Cup victory in the 2018-19 season, beating FC Goa 1-0 in the final at Fatorda.

About FC Goa

FC Goa is a professional football club based out of Goa that competes in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). Nicknamed the Gaurs, FC Goa has been one of the most consistently successful teams in the ISL – reaching 4 semi-finals and 2 finals in 9 seasons.

Heading into the 2023-24 season of the Hero ISL, FC Goa hold the record for the most goals, joint-most golden boots and most number of playoff appearances (6 in total) in the history of the competition.

In 2020, FC Goa also became the first team from India to qualify for the league stages of the AFC Champions League, by virtue of winning the first-ever Hero ISL League Winners Shield in the 2019-20 season.

The Gaurs’ trophy cabinet is further adorned by the 2019 Super Cup, the 2018-19 Goa Pro League, the 2020 Goa Police Cup and the 2021 Durand Cup.

Co-owned by Mr Jaydev Mody, Mr Akshay Tandon and Mr Virat Kohli, FC Goa is one of the few Indian clubs to have a complete youth development ecosystem. Its U13, U15, U17, U18, U20 and Developmental Teams compete at the highest levels in Goa and India.

Also Read: Parthib Gogoi: Playing for NorthEast United FC is a dream come true for me

Also Read: Joyson Chettiar’s four-Star Performance Powers Ultras to 7-1 win over Colaba FC

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