Unbeaten in their last three games, FC Goa will be looking to climb the ladder when they take on SC East Bengal in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League win on Wednesday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. FC Goa did not really live under Derrick Pereira but the experienced coach managed to stay unbeaten in the last three outings with a 1-1 draw against Northeast United FC in his last game. Despite the absence of Edu Bedia and Evan Gonzalez against Northeast United, Jorge Ortiz looked extremely sharp for the Gours.
If they win on Wednesday, Goa will move up from the bottom half of the table and close the gap on the top four teams and they will choose their chances against SC East Bengal.
“When I came in, I didn’t want to change much. We kept the same formation, 3-4-3 system but only adjusted the structure and the boys responded well. There is always room for improvement and we look forward to doing well in the days to come, “Pereira said on the eve of the game.
Speaking on the opposition, Pereira added, “Defensively, they have put up a good fight in the last three matches. Instead of focusing more on them, we will focus on the details where we can get the best out of them and their defenses can be broken and at the same time we have a good balance to face their attacks. It’s another game, we have to come up with a plan and get the best result. “
SC East Bengal showed defensive toughness under interim coach Renadi Singh and maintained the fort till the end against Jamshedpur FC before losing in the final minutes of the second half. But with striker Daniel Chima Chukwu jumping off the Jamshedpur ship, Red and Gold did not have any aggressive teeth. He has joined Brazil striker Marcelo Ribeiro dos Santos but will not be available for selection against FC Goa. In their 11 league games, SC East Bengal have failed to score in five games.
SC East Bengal will have new coach Mario Rivera back at the helm and Spaniard will have his job cut with a team with only six points from 11 engagements. Rivera guided East Bengal to second place in the I-League in two seasons.
“It will be my first challenge in ISL and my first task is to change the mood of the team when they are not having a good time. The table does not reflect the quality of the side. Now, we have to get the best performance from the players and hope to change our position at the table, “Rivera said in his pre-match conversation.
The last time the two sides met this season was when FC Goa beat their rivals 4-3 in a high-octane match.