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ISL: Goa, Chennaiyin play for pride (Preview)

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Margao, Nov 30 (IANS) Bottom-placed FC Goa and defending champions Chennaiyin FC, both with no chance of qualifying to the Indian Super League (ISL) football semi-finals, will play for pride in their final group stage match here on Thursday.

Goa are at the bottom with 11 points from 13 matches and even if they win their last game against Chennaiyin FC they will finish below all teams. It will be a league to forget for Goa coach Zico.

Chennaiyin, with two more points than Goa are just placed above them in the standings. They are are also out of the semi-final contention. They will look to finish as high as possible with a victory against Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Goa played Chennaiyin in last year's final and lost 2-3 after conceding two late goals.

In the last game, Goa were hammered 1-5 by Delhi Dynamos and coach Zico will want to finish with a positive result.

"Delhi is a very good team, very compact; they know how to play their game. In the first half, we held them but in the second they found their way. The other thing is that when there is a motivation factor you play in a certain way, like if the team is in the hunt for semis… We had nothing like that going for us so that also played a role," Zico said on Wednesday while explaining the huge defeat.

Chennaiyin were in the race for a place in semi-finals until they conceded a goal in the last minute as NorthEast United FC snatched a 3-3 draw in their last game. That result pushed Chennaiyin out of the race and coach Marco Materazzi was left to rue goals they continued at the end.

Despite being knocked out, Materazzi said he was proud of his team's efforts and highlighted the achievements in the first three years.

"If somebody told me three years ago that come to India and you will reach the semi-finals in the first year and win in the second year and we would go out like this in the third year, I would still sign up. So I am happy about the performance (against NorthEast United) and now we can play as good as we can in the next game against Goa," said Materazzi.

--IANS

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