ISL 2016: Delhi Dynamos eye semis berth with win against bottom-placed FC Goa
Delhi Dynamos will be eager to get the better of FC Goa and inch closer towards a semi-final berth when they meet in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash.
New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos will be eager to get the better of FC Goa and inch closer towards a semi-final berth when they meet in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
But Delhi coach Gianluca Zambrotta is aware that it would be foolish to ignore FC Goa's challenge just because they are at the bottom of the points table.
Delhi were the most impressive side in the first phase of the ISL, but with three matches still to be played, they are placed fourth with 17 points from 11 matches and need a win against FC Goa to boost their confidence.
"If we win this game then Delhi will be in a good position to qualify for play-offs. I am not getting into the mathematical calculations, just preparing for this match and trying to win. Like always, we will strive to win," Zambrotta said during the pre-match media interaction on Saturday.
Delhi have been strong at home this season and are the only side not to lose a home game. They were winless at home in their first three matches but Zambrotta's side eventually gained momentum, winning two of their next three matches.
The clash against FC Goa will be the last home game in the league stage for Delhi and Zambrotta knows his side must remain focused.
"At the moment, this is one of the most difficult game for us. It will be a mistake to think they are last. That will be a bad attitude. The players must stay focused and determined," Zambrotta said.
Delhi still have to play two more away games against NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC.
FC Goa can mathematically still qualify for the semi-finals but their coach Zico has already given up on his team's chances after the 1-2 loss against Atletico de Kolkata at home.
But the Brazil legend said his players will approach the match with the same intensity.
"We have to play with the same intensity. We are professionals. When we go on the pitch, we must respect the jersey, the fans and the honour of our owner. I learnt this when I started playing football. We have to honour the jersey, always. We will give hundred percent," Zico said.
FC Goa had lost 0-2 against Delhi at home and will again remain underdogs in Sunday's away clash. They have been poor defensively but have a better away record compared to their home performances, after scoring seven of their 11 points away and keeping two of their three clean sheets when playing away from home.
"This match is a different story. When we played Delhi (in our home match), we had to fight for points and take more risks. We don't need to take risks now. The only difference is that we will field only those players who are hundred percent fit. The last game was very tiring," Zico said.
As part of the ISL prize money reallocation, Football Sports Development (FSDL) has now allocated Rs 3.5 crore to the League Winners.
Buckingham will arrive in the country shortly and will undergo the stipulated quarantine before joining the Mumbai City bubble in Goa to commence pre-season preparations ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.