Mumbai, March 15: Momentum is a keyword in football and it is what FC Goa will bank on when they take on Bengaluru FC in the final of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday (March 17).
The teams finished level on points at the end of the league stage and were only separated by Bengaluru's superior head-to-head record.
While Goa have been the most high-scoring and free-flowing team in the competition, they have been found wanting on both occasions when they have squared up against Bengaluru. The Gaurs were handed a 1-2 loss in the home fixture before being summarily dispatched 3-0 in Bengaluru's backyard.
Although the head-to-head record suggests Bengaluru will hold the edge in the final showdown, Carles Cuadrat's men will only know too well that dominance in the league stage counts for nothing in the knockout clashes.
Last season, Bengaluru were irresistible in the league stages of the campaign before being knocked out by Chennaiyin FC in the final.
Lessons will need to be learned from Goa's two league defeats to Bengaluru this season but there is no doubt that Sergio Lobera's men have the quality to hurt any opposition on their day.
"From these two games we learn from our mistakes, pick where we have done right and keep repeating those rights," said Lobera.
There is no dearth of match-winners in the Goa side who can turn the game on its head in the blink of an eye. In Ferran Corominas and Edu Bedia, they have the most prolific partnership in the league with the pair combining for 23 goals and 12 assists between themselves.
The two Spaniards have been the key to Goa's prolific output this season and have the ability to produce a moment of magic out of nothing. Both Corominas and Bedia have technical abilities in abundance and do not need a second invitation to hurt teams.
Behind them, Goa have the high-octane Ahmed Jahouh at the base of the midfield and the Moroccan is a master at shielding the defence with his energetic presence, tireless running and tough tackling.
At the heart of the back four, Mourtada Fall has been a revelation playing in the centre-back position and has been instrumental in Goa's impressive defensive record.
With a strong spine down the middle of the team and the presence of highly-gifted attackers who can produce a moment of brilliance out of nothing, Goa will believe they have the tools to hand Bengaluru a second successive defeat in the final.
Source: ISL Media