FC GOA faces off Chennaiyan FC tonight in the 2nd leg of its semifinal tie after sweating out a hard fought draw. Ideally, one form of argument would have vouched for them to have been more aggressive and take the game to Chennai on the back of a sellout crowd but the solace of taking comforts in a draw feels like a glass half empty leaving them with much work to do in their away tie.
As I already predicted in the previous preview article that Chennai would turn this in to a slugfest and win the battle on the basis of what it did in the midfield. The experts seemed to agree that it was a boxing sparring match while Gregory in his post-match interview concurred to what I already envisaged their game plan would be to let the backline have the ball in its own half where they couldn’t do any damage, that’s the fallacy of ball possession and movement. It looks good on stats but the yield is what matters at the end. Chennai were stronger in midfield and also generated 3 clear chances on goal of which Katti did well to block 2. At the end it was asking too much from one man to bail his defense out. While Goa in my opinion didn’t have any clear chances at goal with the exception of the pronay pass to Coro en route to Goal if not his heavy touch would have had a better result. The Goa goal was fortuitous amidst a goal mouth scramble.
If there is anything I want to emphasis here is Goa is not going to win the game by sizing up its opponent or wait and watch approach. It’s not going to work, period! They have to go at Chennai hard from the get go and there’s no two ways about it. That’s the best way to stun the home crowd before it and pressure even starts to get on your back. And as I have already highlighted, this side plays better when the pressure is off. It’s the very hallmark of most sides known for their attacking prowess while having a defense is best adjudged as average.
Goa have Hugo Boumous fit and available for selection , he adds vision, industry and that intelligence in the final third that Goa otherwise doesn’t possess. The isolation of Coro and having to find openings through the bylines tells his own story. Another factor I had highlighted on how Goa could have attacked Calderon side more which they did manage but there was just that extra stutter and seconds taken by Mandar which allowed Chennai to get that extra man on defense or the cross wasn’t good enough.
Bedia as good as a midfielder he is, doesn’t possess the cutting edge that Boumous or for that matter even Brandon have in their skill set on the basis. Times like this, I did be brave than pragmatic.
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