Bambolim, Goa: Kerala Blasters face a tough challenge as they take on table topper Goa in the hero Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim on Saturday.
Kerala has grabbed seven points from their last three games compared to 6 in their first 9 matches. However, their coach Kibu Vicuna admitted that the fixture against Goa would be a much more difficult test.
After struggling for goals initially, Kerala’s attack has come together in the last 4 matches. In their last four outings, Kibu’s side has scored eight times having attempted 87 shots at an average of 10.87 shots per match. In those four games, Kerala attempted 24 shots on target at an average of 6 shots per match.
“We are competing in every match till the end. In the last three matches, we competed well. We played well and we got the points,” he said.
However, on Saturday, they take on a side that has dominated games with maximum possession, having remained unbeaten in the last five games. Kerala have conceded 21 goals against Goa, the most against any team since ISL4.
“It’s true that tomorrow is a different game. It’s against a good team that plays good football but we are trying to recover the players and prepare for the game as much as possible,” said Vicuna.
“They are a good team, very well prepared with fantastic players. They are playing well. They have very dangerous players. (Igor) Angulo, (Jorge) Ortiz and Romario Jesuraj are playing well. I hope that tomorrow in the game, we are going to be better. And also creating more chances than at the beginning of the season,” he added.
Vicuna’s side is currently in ninth position but they are just four points away from fourth-placed Hyderabad FC and the coach sounded optimistic. “We are happy that we are close (to the top four) after the last game but we are focusing on the next game.”
Goa have been in top form as they have clawed back their way to the top three, putting up impressive performances. Juan Ferrando’s men are the comeback kings of the league, having earned ten points after conceding first.
“We play as a team. We fight until the last minute. Each player has to fight. They know that they will not be in the squad if they don’t do that. You will win some or lose some, but fighting is the most important thing,” stated Ferrando.
“It will be a very difficult game (against Kerala). They have been trying to play good football. They have different plans and are making the most of free spaces. They have a good squad,” he said.