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ISL Preview: Goa look to overturn first leg deficit; Delhi eye repeat performance

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Photo Courtesy: ISL’s official website

FC Goa play hosts to Delhi Dynamos in the second leg semifinals of the Hero 2015 ISL as Zico’s men look to overturn the 0-1 deficit and progress to the final of the competition.

FC Goa

Following a brilliant run in the league stages of the ISL, which saw Goa finish at the top of the table, following some big margin victories over Mumbai City (7-0) and Kerala Blasters (5-1), Zico’s men suffered an unexpected narrow 0-1 defeat at Delhi in the first leg of the semifinals.

Almost everyone had their money on Goa to beat Delhi in the first leg semifinals, considering the former’s excellent record against the latter in the league stages. However, Zico’s men were pretty poor in the first leg as they created only a handful of chances, getting only a single shot on target.

Goa struggled to deal with the pace of Gustavo Dos Santos and Mama on the wings, Adil Nabi and Robin Singh’s movement in the box and Flourent Malouda’s excellent passing. Had it not been for Delhi’s poor finishing in the first leg, Zico’s men could have found themselves trailing by a much bigger margin ahead of the second leg.

However, despite their below par performances in the first leg, Goa’s luck has given them a fighting chance in the second leg.

The Gaurs adopted a defensive approach in the first leg as they looked to hit Delhi on the counter. But this tactic did not work as Goa failed to counter quickly, having been restricted to their own defensive third for the majority of the game.

Goa will need to be a lot more positive in the second leg as they cannot afford to rest on their laurels and allow Roberto Carlos’ side to again take control.

However, Zico’s men are known to bounce back quickly, and they will find that a little easier to do in the second leg, considering they will playing in front of their own fans.

Delhi Dynamos

The Lions, meanwhile, will be kicking themselves for not putting the semifinals to bed in the first leg itself, having gotten some many opportunities in the first leg at home.

The Dynamos created 12 chances in the first leg, but only managed to get four shots on target. The likes of Malouda, Robin Singh and Nabi all failed to convert some easy chances, much to the frustration of Roberto Carlos, who had disbelief etched all over his face during that game.

Nevertheless, the Brazilian legend will be happy with his team’s positive approach in the first leg, especially considering the fact that Delhi lost both their games against Goa in the league stages this season.

Although the Dynamos’ 1-0 advantage means that they will now only need to sit back and try to hit Goa on the counter, Carlos insists that his side will not be changing their attacking mentality in the second leg.

“My teams always played attacking game and will not change the pattern as we need one goal to enter the finals,” the 2002 World Cup winner told ISL’s official website, adding that he is confident that his side will enter the finals of the 2015 Hero ISL.

“Our boys need to remain focussed and give their best tomorrow. With Gustavo Santos, Florent Malouda, Richard Gadze and Chicao, who all play attacking game, I am confident to win tomorrow.”

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