ISL Final, FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC: Road to Summit Clash - 3 reasons why Gaurs are favourites to grab ISL 2018-19 trophy
A Bengaluru FC vs FC Goa final was written in the stars. Coached by two former FC Barcelona men and manned by familiar faces, the teams have played some of the best football India has seen.
While most coaches here instruct players to “chip the ball to strikers’ chest and take it from there,” Sergio Lobera and Carles Cuadrat encouraged their team to keep the ball and play out from the back.
Second-placed Goa comfortably saw Mumbai City FC off 5-2 over two legs to reach the final while table-toppers Bengaluru overcame a scare from NorthEast United FC to claim a final ticket.
Bengaluru defeated Goa both home and away, scoring five goals. However, on Sunday evening, Goa will be the favourites.
Read on to know why!
#3 The culmination of the Sergio Lobera project
In his debut season at FC Goa, Spanish coach Sergio Lobera took them to a semi-finals finish as they lost 4-1 over two legs to eventual champions Chennaiyin FC in 2017-18.
While they outscored every team (42 goals), their defence left a lot to be desired. In fact, they had the worst defensive record of the top six clubs (28 goals) and conceded one goal more than bottom club NorthEast United FC.
This season, however, the Spanish coach has shored up the defence while ensuring they remain the best attacking unit.
Conceding just 20 goals over 18 games, they finished the season with the second best defensive record. Additionally, they collected 34 points from 18 outings, as opposed to their last season’s haul of 30.
Losing two games fewer than last season, they have also bettered their last season’s third-place finish by one position.
Bengaluru FC, meanwhile, despite finishing atop the standings, haven’t been as good as their 2017-18 selves.
All the improvements and Bengaluru’s “fall” allude to Goa’s boasting better chances than the two-time I-League winners.