Preview: A struggling Delhi Dynamos face an uphill task to halt their run of losses as they take on a rampaging FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL).
Placed second in the pecking order, FC Goa are coming into the game on the back of a 5-1 drubbing of Kerala Blasters FC, and would be eager to displace leaders Bengaluru FC from the top.
A win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, by three or more goals, would help FC Goa claim the top spot.
Goa's three victories in four matches are in stark contrast to Delhi's three defeats in four outings this season.
Such has been FC Goa's form that every victory has seen them score at least three goals. They've lost just one match and will fancy their chances against a side that is coming on the back of three losses in a row.
FC Goa have often played with the kind of style and verve which has often been unmatched by other teams. They are reaping the benefits of having two in-form forwards in Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote.
The former is the league's top-scorer with seven goals and the latter has four strikes to his name — the two of them combining to score 11 of the 13 goals the team has managed so far.
The only worry for Spanish coach Sergio Lobera is that his side has not yet managed to keep a single clean sheet in four matches. They've conceded at least two goals in three out of the four games so far.
But Lobera's fellow countryman Miguel Angel Portugal has more difficult problems to solve. Despite playing matches less than FC Pune City and Bengaluru, Delhi are third among 10 teams when it comes to the number of touches (2824) a team has taken.
Surprisingly, they have pumped in the most number of crosses (74) and had the most number of passes at the end of four rounds as well. That, however, has not materialised into much in front of goal.
The Dynamos have, despite their dominance on the ball, shockingly taken just 28 shots in four games. That's less than any other team in the ISL. Just like ATK, they've not asserted themselves physically, throwing just 89 tackles in four matches — one more than ATK.
Portugal admitted that the side is working on converting their dominance into goals.
"In the games so far, we have dominated the ball and did everything well but we know we are not scoring and the team is working on that," he said.
It will be the ultimate test for both coaches in terms of keeping possession and playing pretty football. While FC Goa have combined it with a lethal eye in front of goal, Delhi Dynamos have suffered from a shot-shy attitude and have the worst goal difference in the entire league (-5).
A victory could still do wonders for them because three points at home will take them to seventh on the table.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2017 23:19 PM