A Successful Comeback Season of Sporting Clube de Goa in the I-League last season gave a lot of hope to the owners and the fans to look forward same performance if not better from the team. Sporting kept their faith in the Ekendra Singh and retained 90% of their first team player except James Moga. The team management and the players were familiar with the style they had played last season. Inclusion of a few younger Indian players has also indicated what sporting was up to going into the season.
Poor Start To The Season
Sporting Clube de Goa lost one of their key players James Moga to Pune FC in the transfer window. The Sudanese were instrumental for them last season and was the leading scorer for the club. The club signed Cameroonian striker Bong Bertrand from Qatar 2nd division club Al-Shamal Sports Club as a replacement for the James Moga. However the striker failed to impress club management and was released in short span of time.
The club started their campaign without any of the foreign players. They retained foreigners like Ogba Kalu and Keita Babucar who was nursing an injury and new Japanese recruit Sieya Sugashita was yet to register with the club. Missing services of these players and few regular Indian players hampered club performance. The club was able to secure just 1 wins in 5 matches and during this period they got hammered 5-0 by Dempo which is their biggest loss of the season. With a horrible start to the season and a poor transfer season where they failed to sign any big player, many pundits claimed them to be one of the relegation contenders of the season.
Sporting Savior Oscar Bruzan Barreras.
After a torrid start to the season the club owner decided that it was time to change the things. The club was almost certain to sack Ekendra Singh. The club roped in 32 year old Spaniard Oscar Bruzan . Oscar Bruzan had a big task in front of him to save Sporting from the drop. Oscar has been on his toes from the start just and before taking over the team he watched them play in the stadium against Air India. The inspired talk in half of the season inspired them to perform well in the second half. Oscar Bruzan brought in discipline the training session of the club. He focused more on the short passes and fitness of the players. The Spaniard also focused on the youngsters in the team. He gave confidence to the team that they could perform well on the big stage.
Spanish Revolution At Sporting Clube De Goa
After taking over Sporting Clube de Goa the coach Oscar Bruzan released defender Keita Babucar and in place of him brought in high profile Spanish player Angel Berlanga. The lanky defender came to India with a high profile CV. The defender previously played for Auckland City where he represented them twice in the FIFA Club World Cup. The defender was also declared player of the year twice at Auckland City. The defender showed his brilliance in his first match against Salgaocar helping his new team to secure a handsome win over their rivals.
The other Spaniard to join the team was Juanfri. The striker joined Sporting the team from Spanish team Malaga B. The striker took some time to adjust to the Indian conditions but once he got used to he helped Sporting win a lot of matches. His goal against Kingfisher East Bengal away from home was absolutely mesmerizing.
The team was conceding a lot of simple goals in the first half of the season and they used as many as 4 different goalkeepers at the start of the season. Oscar Bruzan once again came up with a master stroke securing the services of young goalkeeper Bruno Colcao. The youngster joined the club from the Margao Sports club and since his arrival at Sporting the youngster has secured 6 clean sheets contributing a major part in Sporting’s remarkable turnaorund.
Sporting Fortress The Duler Stadium.
Unavailability of the Fatorda stadium and slow progress at Tilak Maidan left the Goan club with no other option than to play their home matches at Duler Stadium. The only stadium North Goa which got cleared to host I-league turned out to be a blessing for the Sporting Clube de Goa. The club was able to beat top teams at the duler stadium. Coach Oscar Bruzan believed that Duler Stadium helped his team play small pass and quick game. Other than suiting their style of play Duler helped them to get a good number of fans and with some impressive and consistent performances at Duler stadium the club has been able to earn a lot of fans.
Confident Young Sporting
The young Sporting side is full of confidence after not just avoiding relegation but also securing a place in the top half of the table. Oscar Bruzan has brought self-belief in the team and the team now can beat any team in the I-League. The young Indian contingent in the team has been more than just impressive. Oscar Bruzan has given India with new starts such as Dawson Fernandes, Pratesh Shirodkar, Bruno Colaco and few others.
Can Sporting Rise To Be A Powerhouse In Goa
Sporting Clube de Goa under their Spaniard coach Oscar Bruzan has been impressive. The club just not only survived but thrashed other teams including teams with much higher budget. The club has a majority of the youngsters in the squad and with the confidence they got from this season we can expect heroics from them next season. Sporting will have to retain most of their players to start next season with a strong squad. The club will have to shell out some money to stop these players going to other clubs. The performance of these players has been noticed by many top clubs and the clubs be itching to get their signature.
The Spanish revolution at Sporting Clube de Goa has certainly shown that with a small budget the club can create wonders with their hard work and determination. Sporting Clube de Goa should be the role model for other club in the country. Sporting Clube de Goa has created the stars and we will certainly hope them to produce a few more in the coming season under the shrewd leadership of Oscar Bruzan.