ISL 2017-18: Jamshedpur FC host FC Goa in must-win match with last semi-final spot at stake

Jamshedpur: FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC face each other in a crucial match which will decide the last semi-final spot in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

A draw will be enough for Goa to make it to the last four stage since they are already a point ahead of Jamshedpur. However, if they lose, Steve Coppell's side will have sealed a remarkable achievement in their first season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.

Brandon Fernandes of FC Goa and Emerson Gomes De Moura of Jamshedpur FC in action during match 44 of the Hero Indian Super League between FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa, India on the 11th January 2018 Photo by: Vipin Pawar / ISL / SPORTZPICS

FC Goa had won against Jamshedpur FC in the reverse fixture earlier this season. ISL

"In a strange sort of way, I am happy that we have to win to go through because that way there is no doubt in our mind. If we would have been able to qualify with a draw, all of a sudden human nature means you try and protect what you have and I don't think that really suits us," said Coppell.

"The results in midweek mean that we have only one goal in mind and we have only one way we can play. We simply have to win to qualify," he said.

The Englishman left no doubts that his team will go for the victory. The previous fixture between the two sides ended 2-1 in favour of Goa.

"Do we need to get better in front of goal? Obviously, that has been the case all season. More potential and more fire-power in front of goal. It's not the strikers' fault, but the team's responsibility to create chances and score goals and we have to correct that for tomorrow," he said.

FC Goa, meanwhile, are back to their best. They've scored nine goals in the last two matches, trouncing FC Pune City 4-0 away, before beating defending champions ATK 5-1 at home. Goa had not defeated ATK since the league's inception in 2014.

"I know a draw is enough for us but once we try and play for a draw, we end up losing the game. So we do our best to try and win the match," Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said.

If Goa win, they can finish second due to their record against Pune City. FC Goa have a few niggles but Lobera would not elaborate on which players were doubtful for the crunch match.

"They're a defensively well-structured team and comfortable with their style of play. They deserve to be in a situation where they can fight for the semifinals," Lobera said about Jamshedpur.


Updated Date: Mar 04, 2018 14:09 PM

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