FC Goa seemed to have found their attacking mojo back in their last game against NorthEast United. The Gaurs dominated possession and imposed themselves time and again on the Highlanders.
However, a lack of precision in the attacking third and lapses in concentration at the back meant that Juan Ferrando’s men had to come off empty-handed, yet again. Three consecutive defeats to start the season was certainly part of the plans for FC Goa, who had come into the season at the back of a strong Durand Cup campaign.
Up against the Gaurs on Tuesday night will be SC East Bengal, another team yet to taste victory so far this season. In fact the Red and Gold have gone without a win in the ISL since February.
Thus, this game represents an opportunity for both sides to get their season off and running with three vital points up for grabs.
Heading into this fascinating fixture, here are 10 things you should know about the game;
0: FC Goa are yet to defeat SC East Bengal in a competitive fixture. The two games between the sides in last season’s ISL ended in draws. The only other time the two teams met was in the semi-finals of the 2018 Super Cup where the Red and Gold edged out the Gaurs 1-0.
0: In 7 games combined this season, FC Goa and SC East Bengal are yet to score a goal from outside the box.
3: The 3 losses to open the season represents the worst start to an FC Goa season since 2016. The Gaurs lost their first three games that season as well – losing to Chennaiyin FC, FC Pune City and NorthEast United. Both the 2014 and 2016 seasons saw the Gaurs clinch only 1 point from their first 4 games. The Gaurs would be looking to turn things around like in 2014, when they finished 2nd on the league table, one point behind Chennaiyin.
3.33: FC Goa has seen an average of 3.33 offsides being called against them (10 in 3 games), the highest amongst all teams this season). East Bengal have been flagged offside on 8 occasions in their 4 games.
8: While FC Goa have failed to record a victory in their last three games, SC East Bengal have not tasted victory in their last 8 ISL encounters. Their last victory came in a 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur in February.
10: FC Goa seemed to have found their attacking mojo back in their last game. After averaging a paltry 2 shots on target for their first 2 games, the Gaurs put the NorthEast United defence on alert, ending the game with 10 shots on target. East Bengal on the other hand averaged 1.75 shots on target in their opening 4 games.
10: No team has conceded more goals this season, at the time of writing, than SC East Bengal. Manolo Diaz’s side has let in 10 goals (with 8 from inside the box) in their opening 4 games, including 6 in one game against Odisha FC. FC Goa are close behind with 8 goals conceded in their 3 games.
12 – The Tuesday night encounter will see two sides which rely the most on crosses as an attacking threat coming face to face. FC Goa average a league-leading 12 crosses per game whilst East Bengal are in second place with 11 crosses executed per game.
46 – Winning challenges has been a big issue for SC East Bengal and a big reason why the Red and Gold languish near the bottom of the league table. Manolo Diaz’s men win on average 46% of their challenges (61 challenges won of 137 per game), the lowest mark in the league. Goa had been the worst in the first two rounds. However, an improved display against NorthEast sees them move up the table in this regard and sees them move to midtable with a 50% win rate (71 challenges won of 141 per game).
61: FC Goa are the most fouled side in the competition with the Gaurs seeing a total of 61 fouls committed against them – an average of 20.3 fouls per game. East Bengal, on the other hand, are the second least fouled team with an average of 5.5 fouls committed against them.