Wednesday’s ISL match between Bengaluru and Goa at Sree Kanteerava Stadium is anticipated as the biggest matchup of the season thus far. Both sides are determined to prove their prowess, adding yet another thrilling chapter to their rivalry. It is being billed as a high-stakes showdown given the fact that Bengaluru have won seven straight matches and Goa stands atop of the league standings. The Blues have excelled since Day One, making a remarkable turnaround from bottom of the table during last year’s edition to the trifecta of playoffs this season. Indeed, Wednesday’s game is shaping up to be an exciting affair and many fans suggest it could be one for the books.
After a fantastic season in the Indian top-flight league, Bengaluru FC is almost certain to pull off one of the greatest comebacks of all time in the history of Indian domestic football. Under the stewardship of Simon Grayson, this Karnataka-based outfit has shown great spirit and fighting mentality, sufficient enough to book their spot into the next round of the competition. This is certainly a proud moment for the club fans as Bengaluru will be featuring in the knockout stages for the first time since 2020. No doubt, it will be an exhilarating journey ahead for them and all eyes are now set on their performance in upcoming rounds as well.
Goa’s fate hangs in the balance this Wednesday, when they will face their opponents Red Miners. Currently occupying the seventh position in the points table with 27 points from 19 games, Goa are within a chance of making playoffs if they can win their last league form fixture and Odisha drop points in their match. It has been an exciting journey for both teams, and fans alike, as Goa strive to make it to the playoffs for a seventh consecutive time. With stakes this high, festivities will be undoubtedly tense at Fatorda Stadium with spectators awaiting anxiously the result that could make all the difference.
Bengaluru’s impressive run of form has captured the attention of all Indian Super League fans across the country. The Karnataka based outfit’s unbelievable streak of seven games without dropping a single point cannot be understated, with their most recent victory coming in an unforgettable fashion over the reigning champions Mumbai City. Captain Sunil Chhetri made a personal statement against his former employers as he opened up the scoring with a motivational goal, and fellow Spaniard Javi Hernandez provided the icing on the cake in crushing 2-1 win for Bengaluru, who continues to reign as one of Indian Super League’s dominating teams this season.
The loss of precious points have been the bane of FC Goa’s playoff campaign so far. After an impressive run in the group stages, the Gaurs looked primed to advance strong into playoff contention. However, with consecutive losses piling up in the last few games, their hopes for a top-four finish seem to be mitigated by footballing misfortune. Their most recent performance against Chennaiyin displayed a good showing from FC Goa, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough to keep them from falling behind in the rankings. With all hope not lost yet, a victory by Odisha against Jamshedpur could make things easier for Goa. Needless to say their fans will be hoping for it without fail!
The rivalry between Bengaluru FC and the inaugural ISL Shield winners has been nothing short of legendary, kept alive as they clash 12 times so far with the Blues dominating in terms of head-to-head record. With six wins under their belt, they have come out triumphant thrice more than their rivals. And while no result came of some matches, their most significant face-off was during the 2018-19 ISL Finals when after an intense 90 minutes of football, BFC emerged the champions of India’s top flight Football League for the first time in their history.
The Covid pandemic brought a unique setting to the clash between the two rivals in the previous season when both face-offs were staged at the GMC Athletic Stadium of Bambolim. Despite missing out on home support, one team rose to the occasion and emerged triumphant, thanks to a 70th-minute goal by local lad Devendra Murgaonkar. The 1-2 victory established that there was no stopping them from taking charge of the match. In their second meeting, tension ran high with both teams putting in their best efforts to secure success, but neither could break away as it all ended in a 1-1 draw. It was an unpredictable outcome that showcased how intense these two teams can be on a good day!
Simon Grayson, head coach of Bengaluru FC, undoubtedly made a bold move when he decided to start legendary Indian striker Sunil Chhetri instead of Roy Krishna in their match against Odisha. Chhetri quickly established great chemistry with the youngster Sivashakthi Narayanan, earning an assist and also scoring the opening goal for his team. In anticipation for heat-filled playoffs, Javi Hernandez is looking to take a rest while his countryman Pablo Perez will likely take his place in midfield. With an array of talents on their lineup, Bengaluru have all they need to pull off another win.
Speculation of Dheeraj Singh’s exclusion from Goan’s starting eleven abounds, especially after conceding seven goals in the last two appearances. There is a strong possibility that Arshdeep Singh Saini, hailing from Chandigarh, will be hired as the new goalkeeper if Gaurs’ manager Carlos Pena decides to drop the first-choice option. Another expected change in the Geurs line-up is Devendra Murgaonkar being replaced by Meghalaya wingerRedeem Tlang. Highly adept at dribbling and taking on defenders, Tlang could be a great weapon in the attacking set-up for the team. It certainly remains to be seen what changes Pena makes ahead of their next match.