ISL: Dominant Delhi take on Goa to determine top spot
Delhi Dynamos would aim to grab the top spot while also looking to settle scores when they take on FC Goa in their final round Indian Super League football match here on Sunday. FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos are placed second and third respectively on the ISL table with 22 points each but the visiting side are ahead with a better goal difference.
The two teams would eye the top spot but having already qualified for the semifinals, the focus could
also be on preserving their best players for bigger challenges ahead.
Delhi player-manager Roberto Carlos has already made it clear that he wants players fresh for the semifinal. He rested Robin Singh and Seminlen Doungel for the game against Kerala Blasters as his side have already made it to the play-offs and is expected to continue with the trend in the final league game on Sunday.
“Against Goa, probably I won’t play (Florent) Malouda, Chicao, probably won’t use (Adil) Nabi, and I want some players to take a rest for the next phase,” Carlos had said earlier after the game against Kerala Blasters.
Delhi lost to FC Goa in their opening game away in Goa 0-2 but since then the team has made rapid progress, never really falling out of the top four.
“Step by step, the team is improving. For the next phase of the league, they will be better because they have spent so much time together. They know each other very well now and that should help them in the next phase,” said the Brazilian World Cup winner.
FC Goa, however, indicated that they may field the best available team to finish on top of the table.
“In our way of thinking, we will field the best players available, although a clear picture will emerge only after the (final) training session. Since the tournament is very short, we will want the best players not to get injured ahead of the semifinals,” FC Goa assistant coach Fernando Vannucci said during the pre-match media briefing.
The assistant coach, however, made it clear that the club had achieved its initial target of making it to the play-offs and now the competition would get even tougher.
“We are now looking to be first or second so that we can have the advantage of playing the second game at home. In a tournament like the ISL which is so well balanced, we cannot choose any opponent. Every opponent is good and we respect all of them. You must not forget that last year, the final was played between the third and fourth placed teams,” said Vannucci.