ISL: We will try everything to qualify, says Goa's Youness Bengelloun
Youness Bengelloun is confident his struggling Indian Super League side FC Goa can still make it to the knockout stage of the competition despite languishing in the bottom half of the league table going into their crucial match against hosts Mumbai City FC here.
Mumbai: Youness Bengelloun is confident his struggling Indian Super League side FC Goa can still make it to the knockout stage of the competition despite languishing in the bottom half of the league table going into their crucial match against hosts Mumbai City FC here.
"We have six more games we can take 18 more points. We are going to do everything to finish in the top four," said France's Bengelloun, who will have his hands full in tackling his countryman and Mumbai's livewire striker Nicolas Anelka at the D Y Patil Stadium on Monday.
Bengelloun did the star turn for his side in their resurgent 4-1 demolition of Delhi Dynamos FC in the latter's backyard in their previous game by scoring twice and defending well. It was the team's second win in eight games, and both victories had come against Delhi.
Asked what made the difference from their earlier games, the Frenchman said the Goa players were efficient in converting the chances into goals.
"We played well in the previous seven games but compared to other games the most important thing (difference) was we scored. In that game (against Delhi) we were efficient and that's why we scored four goals which made the difference."
Team's chief coach and Brazilian legend Zico said in earlier games the pressure to win must have played on his players' mind and making them "reckless" at times.
"May be players were like somewhat reckless, trying to do things on their own because of pressure to win the game. (But) we have played good football," said Zico.
Although the Brazilian great said that in the second phase of the tournament the teams on top of the table are adopting safety first approach, he said his team members will play in the same manner they had done so far.
"Now we are in the second phase and teams in the top of the table are not taking that many chances. But we are not going to change. We will keep playing the way we have played so far. I have told my players to play for a win."
Zico said the difference between the earlier games and the last one against Delhi was his side took advantage of the chances that were created.
"In the last game we finished much better. In previous games we created so many opportunities but could not score. In the last game we created fewer opportunities but managed to score."
Zico said tomorrow's match appeared to be an even one.
"We are looking to neutralise the best players of Mumbai City FC. I think this is an equal game, same conditions exist here as in Goa. They can be sure we will play to win."
He also praised the turf at the DYP, saying this appeared to be the best he has witnessed in the tournament so far.
"I have no complaints about the playing surfaces, all the grounds were good, but this one seems to be the best, the ground, the turf," he said.