FC Goa are all set to lock horns with the defending champions Atletico de Kolkata in Match No. 5 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda in Goa on Wednesday.
FC Goa will be seeking vengeance, as they were handed a defeat in the semifinal of ISL 2014 on penalties by the visitors. These two sides went head-to-head four times in the first edition of the ISL and Atletico de Kolkata managed to clinch one victory, the win which propelled them into the big final. The rest of the matches were drawn. So one can anticipate yet another cagey affair when these two heavyweights clash on Wednesday evening.
Let's take a look at the players who can make the difference in this high-voltage match of ISL 2015:
FC Goa: Lucio: The big Brazilian stood tall in the FC Goa defense during the first game and showcased his class. In his first appearance for FC Goa, he made 13 clearances and his passing was spot-on as well. His partnership with Frenchman Gregory Arnolin in the defensive line was outstanding. Atletico de Kolkata forwards will have to sweat it out to go past the Goan defence.
Leo Moura: This Brazilian midfielder will play a crucial role in Wednesday's game against Atletico de Kolkata and in the remainder of the tournament as well. His understanding with Spaniard Jofre was evident in the first game against Delhi Dynamos. He also got his name on the scoresheet when he guided one into the bottom corner of the net from a Romeo Fernandes through ball. He also completed more passes (52) than any other player in his side during the first game.
Romeo Fernandes: This young midfielder has shown exactly what he is capable of doing when he is offered space on the wings. Fernandes announced himself just the way his coach Zico wanted him to in the very first match against Delhi Dynamos. Atletico de Kolkata defenders will be wary of his pace and dribbling skills and thus they will need to guard the wings right from the start of the game.
Atletico de Kolkata:
Iain Hume: As his fellow striker Helder Postiga has been ruled for a month due to injury, Hume will have to carry the goalscoring baton for the defending champions. The former Canada international is a hard-working player, who runs and runs for the entire 90 minutes. Although, he could not get his name on the scoresheet in the first game, he earned an assist against Chennaiyin FC. He will surely be one of the players to watch out for against FC Goa on Wednesday.
Borja Fernandez: This Spanish midfield maestro showed why he was retained by his coach Antonio Lopez Habas and also why he has been bestowed with the responsibility of leading the side. In the first season he had Jofre alongside to control the midfield but the latter will be featuring against the former on Wednesday. James Gavilan and Javi Lara were promising in the first game and have connected well with the playmaker. Borja will continue to remain as a key player in this Atletico de Kolkata side.
Baljit Singh Sahani: This creative Indian forward is a crucial player for ATK, capable of changing the course of the game at any moment. His ability to run through the defence and dribbling skills makes him one of the players to watch out for in Wednesday's clash against FC Goa. The 28-year-old's dynamic presence in the field can make the difference.