Losses rarely, if ever can be comforting. However, what it does many a time is it galvanises a whole dressing room, sends out a message to find a common goal and creates room for deep introspection.
When the team went, into the dressing room last weekend in Kolkata, the eerie silence was discomforting. There was pain and anguish written on the faces of the players. And that’s where the real character of FC Goa lie.
Each and every member of that team cared.
“Was it a big chance for us to get clear of the pack? Yes. Did we make the most of that chance? No. What do you think we do? We move on. We learn. We dedicate ourselves even more to the cause and try and find a solution,” opined Carlos Peña. “That’s what we did today.”
Coro didn’t get his name on the score sheet, and yet the Gaurs poured in three. In the stands, there were certainly reasons to lose hope as Kerala came back from two goals down, and yet the Men in Orange found the resolve to get back and win it.
Hugo Boumous came up big with his first brace of the season whilst Jackichand Singh hit home his first of the campaign. There were reasons to be jubilant, to frown, to doubt, but in the end, all that FC Goa gave their faithful was another reason to believe.
“This was not my best game, and not even the best for us a team. But we needed the three points. Sometimes the journey can be a rough one, but it’s all worth it if we get to the destination,” explained Boumous. “We are going to stick what works best for us, for sure. But you know, we have to win all the remaining four games. That’s the goal.”
There is visible mobility, languid elegance and intricate networking (through passes) in the way FC Goa plays. But there is also an indomitable spirit and the grit to fight back that makes the experience so much more wholesome.
“As I said, even after the last game, these are the kind of situations that make or break you. You can either cower under the pressure or come back stronger,” says the team captain, Mandar Rao Dessai. “This game was a bit of our season condensed into the 90 minutes. We went off to a flyer, got dragged back. And now just like this, we want to finish the season off on a sweet note. We got four more nights to do it.”
It was in a couple of moments that the game was lost in Kolkata. The ‘little things’ went against the Gaurs. It was those little things that again made a difference on Saturday night against a spirited Kerala Blasters.
One of those little things was belief – belief to get better, belief in their own abilities and when stuck in a situation, the belief to wade through the mud to get and find a way out.
For the Gaurs it seems, there is a comeback for every setback.