Sporting Clube de Goa has made their trip to the highlands where they face Aizawl FC in the first leg of Hero Federation Cup. With a good head to head record against the highlanders the Goan side will be looking to come home with some advantage. Aizawl FC on the other hand is at the peak of their form beating champions of India Bengaluru FC to enter the semis. The previous encounter between the two in January ended 2 – 0 in favour of Sporting.
Speaking about the previous encounter Gaffer Costa said “That match was not an easy one; Aizawl FC played some really good football. We made the most of our chances and that’s why we won the match, but they were really good that day. Even now they are on top of their form and we will have to put in more than 100% if we have to go home with an advantage.”
When asked about the opponents Coach Costa said “We cannot take them lightly, we respect every team. On the given day any I-League team can upset another we have seen that before.”
When quizzed about his options upfront, Costa added heaps of praises for his striker Sumeet Passi “He is very young and shouldering such a responsibility show’s great character. He got his opportunity and right away proved himself. We hope he continues his form and do well for himself and the team.”
When quizzed about the fastest goal scored in the previous I-League encounter at Aizawl, Sporting winger Nicholas Fernandes said “It’s not about records; my aim currently is to score as many goals possible for my side and to take them forward.”
When quizzed about his expectations from the game Coach Jahar Das said “It’s a game we cannot predict it, we will play ours they will play theirs. The result is not in anyone’s hands, who ever will make most of the chances will win.”
Speaking about their victory against Bengaluru and its impact on the team he said “It is important to repeat the performance after every good match. We have had such good matches earlier too like beating Mohun Bagan was a bigger experience. Beating Bengaluru FC is something new but that’s not going to be enough tomorrow, Mateus has a fine side and they have won here before so the game will surely be interesting.”
Jahar Das also added “Sporting have a fine record in Federation cup, they are a far more experienced side. We have to give our best tomorrow if we have to upset them.”
Sporting’s worry would be the injury to their midfielder Densill Theobald who has not travelled with the team and will be missing the first leg against Aizawl FC. In his absence Mahmoud Al Amnha is expected to get a start, it would be interesting to see Mahmoud’s combination with the in-form Passi as the former is known for his excellent through balls while the latter for his swiftness in the box. Over all the fans back in Goa will be hoping for The Flaming Oranje to come out with a positive result from this encounter.