On a momentous occasion in the Hero ISL, two full-time Indian coaches will be facing off against each other when FC Goa and NorthEast United take to the field on Friday night. Derrick Pereira and his men will look to further inflict damage on Khalid Jamil and the Highlanders who come into the game on the back of 3 games without a win or a clean sheet.
While this can be billed as a bottom-of-the-table clash, one would be wise to be reminded that only 4 points lie between FC Goa in 8th and ATK Mohun in 4th spot at the time of writing. And with no clear run-away leaders emerging from the pack, both the sides will look to the game to provide them some much needed momentum heading into the second half of the season.
FC Goa walk into this one on the back of their first win under Pereira and their first clean sheet of the season. On the other hand, NorthEast will look to draw inspiration from their win over the Gaurs earlier this season.
And to give you all a low down as to what you can look forward to on Friday night, here are 10 things you need to know ahead of their clash:
- In 14 games between the sides, there has never been a goalless draw. In fact, a minimum of two goals have always be scored in matches between FC Goa and NorthEast United.*
1: The clean sheet against NorthEast United was FC Goa’s first of the season. This is the longest the Gaurs have had to wait to record a clean sheet barring the 2017/18 season.
4: Anwar Ali’s debut in the last game makes him the fourth player from the Indian U17 team that played in the FIFA U17 World Cup to wear FC Goa colours. The others to have done so before him are Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Nongdamba Naorem.
5: FC Goa’s biggest win against NorthEast United came in a 5-1 win over the Highlanders in the 2018/19 season when goals from Ferran Corominas (2), Hugo Boumous, Edu Bedia and Miguel Palanca helped them to the convincing win.
8: Naveen Kumar recorded his 8th clean sheet in FC Goa colours in his first appearance of the season against Chennaiyin. Only Md Nawaz has more clean sheets for the Gaurs (10). Kumar, though, has a clean sheet every 3.125 games. Nawaz, on the other hand, recorded one every 4.3 games. Effective.
8: Last week’s win over Chennaiyin saw Aibanbha Dohling make his 8th appearance this season, equalling his appearances in the ISL from last season. The form Shillong Lajong impressed in the last match yet again – winning 75% of challenges and 63% of his aerial duels (something he leads the team in). Renaissance.
10: NorthEast United haven’t kept a clean sheet against FC Goa in their last 10 games against the Gaurs. The last time the Highlanders managed to blank their opponents from Saturday’s game was in October 2016, when they ran out 2-0 winners in Guwahati. NorthEast United have kept one clean sheet ever in games against FC Goa
Deshorn Brown is someone that the Gaurs will have to keep quiet if they want to clinch all three points on Friday night. His mark of a goal contribution every 62.8 minutes is head and shoulders above the second best man in this category. Igor Angulo (80 minutes per goal contribution) and Greg Stewart are his closest competitors. The man with the best record in this category for the Gaurs is Jorge Ortiz (88.4).
Naveen Kumar has kept two clean sheets in his last 2 ISL appearances. The last time Kumar started for the Gaurs was in the 3-0 triumph over Jamshedpur FC last season in January 2021, making his appearance in last Saturday’s clash his first in 359 days.
NorthEast United’s win over FC Goa earlier this season was the first win for the Highlanders against the Gaurs in 8 games. It was their first triumph since a 2-1 win in January 2018, a gap of 1428 days.