Atletico De Kolkata
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa
17th December 2014, 19:00 IST
The quest to crown the first ever champions of the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League has reached its penultimate step. FC Goa plays host to Atletico De Kolkata in the second leg of the second semi finals of the Indian Super League. The first leg at Kolkata ended 0-0 and the winner of this encounter will go through to the final to face Kerala Blasters. This game thus promises to be a cracking contest as both sides will go all out to win this match.
The recent form of the two teams have been completely different. FC Goa started poorly in the ISL, but they played very well in the second leg of the group stages and generated momentum towards the end of the group stages. For ADK, the journey in the ISL has been quite opposite so far. ADK got a brilliant start to the ISL. At the end of the first leg of the group stages, ADK were placed at the top of the table. In the second leg, they lost all momentum and managed to win just one match against North East United FC.
Team News And Tactical Brief
The Home side FC Goa has enjoyed a good record at home turf. They have won 4 of their 7 home matches and have lost only 2. But coach Zico will be wary of the team from Kolkata, as ADK is one of the two teams that managed to beat FC Goa on their home ground in the first leg of the group stages.
Zico is likely to employ a 4-2-3-1 formation. Ian Seda is the favourite to start as the custodian. Debabrata Roy is likely to start as the right back . Bruno Pinheiro, who missed the first leg of the semi finals due to suspension will be back and is likely to pair the FC Goa skipper, Gregory Arnolin in the centre of the defense. Harun Amiri is likely to replace injured Narayan Das at the left back position. Bikramjit Singh and Peter Carvalho are likely to play as defensive midfielders. Mandar Rao Desai and Romeo Fernandes are the favourites to start on the left and the right wings respectively. Andre Santos is expected to be used as the play maker behind the main striker. Miroslav Slepicka is expected to start as the targetman for the Gaurs.
Coach Zico also has a strong bench. He can bring on Tolgay Ozbey and Jewel Raja, who have both got been among the goals in the ISL, if he wants to make a attacking change. Zico will also a brilliant defender like Yonas Bengelloun in his bench. Zico also has some skillful midfielders sitting on his bench. This includes the likes of Clifford Miranda, Edgar Marcelino, Gabriel Fernandes and last bust certainly not the least, Robert Pires, the marquee player for FC Goa.
Probable Sarting XI (4-2-3-1):Seda; Debabrata,Bruno, Arnolin, Amiri; Bikramjeet, Peter; Romeo, Santos, Mandar; Slepicka.
Atletico de Kolkata
ADK finished the first leg of the group stages of the ISL at the top of the points table. It was a totally different story in the second leg as the managed to win just one match and only sneaked through to the semi finals by virtue of a controversial penalty against FC Goa in their last league match. ADK certainly lacks momentum and the odds certainly doesnt favour them to pull off a win against FC Goa in this match.
Antonio Habas is expected to employ a 4-2-1-3 formation. He is expected to start Edel in goal. The back four is likely to consist of Kinshuk Debnath, Ofentse Nato, Josemi and Lester. Rakesh Masih and skipper Borja Fernandes are expected to be empoyed as the two defensive screens. Louis Garcia is likely to be used as a false 9. The 3 forwards are likely to be Baljit, Fikru and Mohammad Rafi.
Unlike FC Goa, ADK does not have a very strong bench. Injuries have taken their toll on the bench strength of Atletico De Kolkata. The likes of Jakub Podany, Jofre Mateu and Cavin Lobo who are likely candidates to be used as super subs in case Antiono Lopes Habas decides to attack, have all faced recent injuries and are not a 100 % in terms of their fitness. Arnal Libert, the fast paced Spanish striker is also a good optionas substitute for Habas, though he has struggled for form and manged to score just one goal in the very first match of the ISL. The defensive options for Habas are very limited as his first coice defenders like Arnab Mondal, Biswajit Saha and Denzil Franco are all injured. Sylvain Monsreau of France is a good defensive option on ADK’s bench, though he hasn’t been tested enough in this ISL.
Probable Sarting XI (4-2-3-1): Edel, Kingshuk, Nato, Josemi, Lester, Masih, Borja, Garcia, Baljit, Rafi, Fikru.
FC Goa 2 – 0 Atletico De Kolkata
Fc Goa has one of the best defense line ups in the ISL. Their central defenders Gregory, Bruno and Bengelloun have all been in excellent form off late and it will be very tough for the ADK forwards, who are spending a period of goal drought, to score against this tough FC Goa defense. ADK’s coach, Habas is thus likely to start with an attacking formation with 3 forwards. This will give FC Goa a good chance to catch ADK on the counter. ADK defense will also miss the likes of Arnab Mondal, Biswajit Saha and Denzil Franco, who are their regular starters. It will be thus very hard for this weakened ADK defense to deal with the likes of Miroslav Slepicka, Andre Santos and Romeo Fernandes. FC Goa also has a good habit of making full use of the set piece movements and scoring from them. The likes of Gregory Arnolin, Yonas Bengelloun and Bruno Pinheiro all can come up from defense and score goals in the set piece movements. FC Goa will also enjoy the support of the home crowd. A full capacity stadium of around 20,000 people will cheer for them and that will be a good morale booster for the home team, FC Goa.