League stage winners FC Goa take on fourth place Delhi Dynamos in the first leg of the first semi-final of the Indian Super League in Delhi on Friday.
But ita s the Guars who start as favourites, having managed to defeat the Lions is both their previous encounters this season.
FC Goa staged a remarkable comeback in their last league match encounter against Delhi Dynamos, after having conceded two goals to win the match 3-2 thanks to a late strike from Joffre in added time.
Delhi Dynamos coach Roberto Carlos though, refused to admit that FC Goa are the favourites for the semi-finals as he believes in his team to make it to the final on December 20.
a The semi-final is of 180 minutes, so tomorrow, nothing will be decided. We have to keep performing like we did in the first half of the last game (against FC Goa). For us, this is going to be a nice game. We will do our duty but the match will be decided in Goa,a said Carlos.
Carlos Bids Farewell
The Lions, who will have to play the second leg of the semis in Goa on December 15, had been complacent in their last two matches after securing their spot in the semis but the Brazilian is eyeing to end their campaign with glory, as the rumour mills went into overdrive followings his comments.
“I won’t be returning next year.Thanks a lot for all the love and support. If you perform well, then you get many good offers.That’s how it goes. I still have not decided where I will be joining. I won’t be here next season. Now, I just want to speak about the ISL.
a I still have three matches here and I want to take Delhi to the final. For me, finishing second or third is like finishing last. Whenever I sign with another club, you will know. Very soon.a
Zico eyes finals
Menawhile FC Goa, who have managed to qualify for the semis for the second consecutive time will be aiming to go one step further this season after crashing out of the semis in penalties to last seasona s champions Atletico de Kolkata. FC Goa coach Zico though isna t willing to risk his teama s chances, as he remained quite cryptic .
a Our players are a little bit more experienced from last year, so they are more used to such situations. But this is a completely different team where we changed about 15 players. Not just us, even Delhi is a completely different team (from last year).a
FC Goa may have finished on top of the league ladder, but Zico hopes to improve on this season by going all the way.
a I hope we can improve. Last year we got to the semi-final and lost. This year, we hope to win and reach the final. There were a lot of expectations from us and we played good football and a fair game.a
FC Goa had been ravaged with injuries throughout the season, but Zico was happy to report that there arena t any injuries concerns.
a Thank God, no injuries.a
Image Courtesy: ISL Media