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ISL 2022-23: NorthEast United FC look to turn positives into points as they gear up for FC Goa

After securing a vital win last week, FC Goa are out looking for more points as they face NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. 

football ISL 2022-23: NorthEast United FC look to turn positives into points as they gear up for FC Goa snt
First Published Dec 17, 2022, 9:00 AM IST

FC Goa will take on NorthEast United FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), hoping to build on their crucial victory from last week. Just two points separate Chennaiyin FC in seventh place and the Gaurs, who are now in the final playoff slot, in the table. The Highlanders are now last in the Hero ISL and are still winless.

The Gaurs have won three of their first four home games. Aside from the 2-0 defeat to Bengaluru FC, FC Goa has been strong at home, winning each of their previous matches 3-0. By that score, Carlos Pena's team defeated Odisha FC last week to win.

One of the three goals was scored by Noah Sadaoui, who also provided assists on the other two. The attacker has contributed eight goals in nine previous games. Alvaro Vasquez, a striker, ended his goalless streak against the Juggernauts by tallying his first goal of the year. Edu Bedia, who served his suspension during the previous game, will also be available.

"We have a focus on repeating the performance we displayed against Odisha last week. Everyone in the dressing room knows that NorthEast have not won any game till now, but that does not matter," said Pena. "They have a new coach and are searching for the first point and victory. Our goal for tomorrow is to replicate last week's performance and to get three points," he added.

football ISL 2022-23: NorthEast United FC look to turn positives into points as they gear up for FC Goa snt

NorthEast United FC haven't started the season yet as it nears the halfway point. Under Vincenzo Annese's new leadership, they fell to Chennaiyin FC 7-3 last week. However, the Highlanders showed improvement as they nearly doubled their goal total for the season in that game and scored in four of their previous five contests.

Wilmar Jordan, Romain Philippoteaux, and Rochharzela all scored from the penalty spot as Wilmar Jordan scored his first goal of the year. However, NorthEast United FC could not contain Chennaiyin FC at the back.

“I don’t think about the games lost. I focus on trying to win the next game and on improving the team with a different approach. In my career, I have always worked at clubs where they have achieved something. I always try to reach the best point,” said Annese. “I believe in myself, and step-by-step, I will help the team reach a higher level. I honestly don’t care what people talk about the nine consecutive games that we lost. I only focus on the next game,” he added.

There have been 16 ISL encounters between these two teams. Half of them have ended in draws, while the Gaurs have clinched five wins, and the Highlanders have won on three occasions. Last season, with a win and a draw, NorthEast United FC were unbeaten against FC Goa.

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