FC Goa will now look to bring back the ISL trophy after having secured top spot in the ISL league table this. The summit also ensures the Gaurs a historic first-ever spot for an Indian team in the AFC Champions League group stage and the ISL shield.
The ISL adventures will now take a more dramatic as the ISL playoffs come around. Awaiting Clifford Miranda’s boys is first up a test at the Marina Arena against rivals Chennaiyin FC.
On the back of a 5-game winning streak, the Gaurs will look to tackle the high-flying Blues head. Over the course of six seasons, the two teams have shared a storied rivalry.
Whilst FC Goa had the better experiences in recent times with 5 straight wins in all competitions, the pinch lies in their record against Chennnaiyin at the ISL knockout stage.
Ahead of the much awaited clash, here are 10 things you should know heading into the first leg of the semi-final.
1 – FC Goa this season became the first team to record 50 wins in the ISL. This came courtesy of two impressive runs. The Gaurs, this season became only the 2nd team in ISL history to win 6 home games in a row at home (first since Kerala Blasters in 2016). They also finished their league campaign with a flurry – winning 5 games on the trot – the first time in club history.
1 – The Gaurs finished in first position this season for the first time since topping the league in 2015. Their haul of 39 points from their 18 games is also a record for the club, only 1 short of the ISL record of 40 – set by Bengaluru FC in 2017/18.
1 – FC Goa will look to register their first ever victory over Chennaiyin FC in a non-league game in the ISL. The two teams met in the 2015 Final, where two late goals saw Chennaiyin take home the trophy with a 3-2 win. They then followed it up with an 4-1 aggregate win over the Gaurs in the semi-finals of the 2017/18 season.
1 – With 14 strikes to his name, Ferran Corominas became the first player in the history of the ISL to score 10 or more goals 3 seasons in a row. After scoring 18 and 16 in the previous two season, the Spaniard currently has 14 to his name from 15 games.
1 – The Gaurs’ 5-0 win away to Jamshedpur was the first time an away team won via a five-goal difference. The win is also the biggest away in ISL history.
1 – The Gaurs became the first team to seal a spot in the ISL playoffs for the 5th time. FC Goa made the playoffs in the first two seasons of the ISL. They failed to make it to the top 4 only once – in 2016. They then have gone on to qualify for the playoffs three seasons straight – ATK and Bengaluru FC are the only two other teams to have done the same.
1 – FC Goa’s haul of 46 goals this league season is the best ever in the history of the ISL. The Gaurs incidentally beat their own record of 42 goals that they had amassed in the 2017/18 season. They also occupy the third spot in that table thanks to their 36-goal season last time around.
1 – The 5-0 win over Jamshedpur FC last week not only sealed the Gaurs a place in the AFC Champions League, but also helped them create another record. The win made them the first team to score 200 goals in the ISL. They have, in fact, topped the scoring charts in 4 of the 6 seasons of the ISL.
1 – With 2 goals and 2 assists to his name in the game against Jamshedpur FC, Hugo Boumous took his tally for this season to 11 goals and 10 assists from 14 games. In doing so, the Frenchman became the first player to have double digit numbers in both aspects.
1 – FC Goa are the only team to do the double over Chennaiyin this season. The Gaurs trounced Chennaiyin 3-0 at home before overcoming their challenge at the Marina Arena 4-3. The Men in Orange, in fact, have won their last 5 games against Chennaiyin.