After a run of six consecutive draws, FC Goa returned to winning ways by beating Odisha FC 3-1 on Wednesday. The win boosted the Gaurs' chances of qualifying for the playoffs, as they are now fourth in the ISL table with 27 points from 18 matches.
FC Goa's Alberto Noguera broke the deadlock in the 18th minute before Jorge Ortiz Mendoza doubled their lead 11 minutes later.
Speaking to the media after the match, FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando said:
"I am satisfied with the three points. It will give a good ambiance in the dressing room because after six draws, getting three points was very important. We had to win one game."
FC Goa have conceded 22 goals this season, managing just two clean sheets. These are worrying numbers for a team who are eyeing a berth in the playoffs. When asked if he would have been happier if FC had kept a clean sheet, Juan Ferrando replied:
"In this case, our set-piece (defending) was better than before. The two big opportunities to Odisha FC came when we were in transitions. We left some space behind centre backs while going forward. We are continuing to improve but I am upset because we don't have a lot of time in training session to work on it."
Alberto Noguera can play in different positions: FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando
In the absence of Edu Bedia, Glan Martins and Princeton Rebello played as the two holding midfielders for FC Goa. Jorge Ortiz Mendoza was deployed as a left-winger, while Alexander Romario Jesuraj marauded down the right-hand channel. Alberto Noguera played just behind striker Igor Angulo.
"Alberto (Noguera) started as a No.10 and Glan (Martins) and Princeton (Rebello) played as two No.8s. At the last moment we made a substitution because we had problems with the pressing. Everybody knows he (Noguera) can play as a No.10, No.8, and as a winger. He is an important player because he can play in different positions and he understands our style," said the FC Goa coach.
FC Goa will next face Bengaluru FC on Sunday, with Juan Ferrando highlighting the importance of the clash.
"It's necessary now to go to the hotel, take rest, and then think about Bengaluru FC. Next sunday it is very important (to collect) three points," Ferrando signed off.
The corresponding fixture between FC Goa and Bengaluru FC ended in a 2-2 draw in November last year.