The Tilak Maidan in Vasco is all set for the high-octane Goan Derby when Salgaocar FC will take on their state rivals Sporting Clube de Goa on Saturday. In the previous encounter the Greens were not able to fight to keep the league as interesting as everyone would have hoped for but have had a mighty impressive season thus far. Salgaocar FC now out of the jaws of relegation sits on the 6th spot as they turned their tide around from their initial dismal performance. Having lost 4 of their opening matches the Greens fought their way out of the bottom spot to pulling off mighty wins over Kolkata giants East Bengal and DSK Shivajians the home side now have a chance to finish 4th as they battle their State rivals.
In the 1st leg of this encounter at the Fatorda Stadium the Flaming Oranje were able to hold a resurgent Salgaocar side to a 1 – 1 draw. However now as the top three honours of the league are out of reach for either side this has become a match to claim bragging rights over Goan dominance & a chance to finish 4th.
The Greens Gaffer Santosh Kashyap said “We come here after playing two tough matches; we did well in Aizawl but couldn’t execute our plan in Bengaluru. This is a different game; we play at home so that’s definitely an advantage also the team looks to be in a good shape. Being our last match we want to achieve a respectable position in the table, so yes a win here can take us to the 4th spot.” Kashyap also mentioned the fact about players having to adjust with as many as 3 to 4 coaches within one season which makes it very difficult for many players to cope up. The coach mentioned that they would not have their star defender Eder Monteiro, who was stretchered out in the previous game along with Saran Singh who received 2 yellows in the same match.
Speaking to the media Sporting Head Coach Mateus Costa said “We always want to finish as high as possible on the table, now that the 3rd spot is out of reach we would like to maintain our position at 4th.” Costa further added “The derbies are always high pressure games; it’s not just the 4th position which is at stake here. With the Federation Cup looming around we would definitely want to win tomorrow. This can be a huge moral boost for the players ahead of the Fed Cup and also it would mean we play the second leg at home which is a huge advantage.” Sporting would in all probability lack the services of their talisman striker Odafa Okolie while Mehrajuddin Wadoo will also miss tomorrow’s fixture courtesy the red card he picked up in the previous match.
Both the coaches have made an appeal to the fans to turn out in large numbers to support their favourite colour as the Greens go head-to-head with the Oranje. With either side having an eye on the fourth spot, the Goan Football lovers are in for mouth-watering affair in the port town city of Vasco.