Gokulam Kerala FC have won the Hero I-League in the last two seasons, but their ambitions to make a hat-trick of titles were dashed this season as they could only finish fourth. FC Goa, on the other hand, ended the Hero Indian Super League Season in the seventh position and missed out on a playoff spot by a whisker.
In the Group C match on Friday, both teams need to win to keep their hopes of securing a place in the semi-finals alive. In the four-team group, ATK Mohun Bagan and Jamshedpur FC, who are also meeting on Friday, sit pretty after winning their first outings. While they have three points each, Gokulam Kerala and FC Goa are without a point after losing their opening matches.
Gokulam Kerala FC Head Coach Francesc Bonet Caruncho said that it would be a competitive match for both teams as they would try to win at any cost. He sounded confident that if his boys play as a team and stick to their plan, Gokulam will surely dish out a good performance.
Caruncho is definitely banking on the crowd support that Gokulam Kerala FC possibly could receive at the Kozhikode ground. He said: “We hope the fans get behind the team and be the 12th member when we face FC Goa tomorrow.“
Meanwhile, FC Goa will be looking to bring in some real changes in the defensive shape, which led them to concede goals in quick succession against Jamshedpur FC in their last match. FC Goa Head Coach Carlos Gonzalez reaffirmed that they needed to pull up their socks against Gokulam Kerala FC to have any chance of winning and keeping their hopes alive of securing promotion to the knock-out stages.
Carlos sounded positive when he said, “We want to be in a better position after tomorrow’s match and raise our chances with another good performance against ATK Mohun Bagan.“