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ISL final: Past record gives Bengaluru edge against in-from Goa

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Pipped at the post by a common nemesis in the past, FC and will take another shot at glory when they square off in the final of here Sunday.

Both the teams made it to the summit clash, to be played at the Mumbai Football Arean, in rather contrasting manner.

had sealed their place in the final for the second successive year with a 3-0 win against NorthEast United FC in the second leg of the play-off, recovering from a 2-1 defeat in the first leg.

Goa, despite a 1-0 loss to FC in the second leg semi-final, made it to the final on better aggregate, having won the first leg 5-1.

were the runners up in 2015, while ended up second best last season. Coincidentally, both the teams had lost to Chennaiyin FC in their respective summit clashes.

Going by history, Bengaluru have edge against In four meetings between the two teams, Bengaluru have won thrice while Goa's only win came in a tight clash (4-3) last season, in which Bengaluru were down to 10 men after Sandhu was sent off.

The in-form Goa will pin their hopes on 36-year-old star striker of Spain, who is the leading scorer this season, with 16 goals to his name.

Corominas has only got better as the tournament progressed and is in line for his second successive Golden Boot award. A good outing on Sunday will only help his cause.

Apart from the strikes, Corominas has seven assists to his credit. He will be a key along with compatriot Edu Bedia, who has seven goals to his credit and six assists.

The duo form a lethal pair and can breach any defence on their day, and Bengaluru's could be no exception.

Two other important cogs in Goa's wheel are mid-fielders - Moroccon Hugo Boumous, who has five assists to his name, and 26-year old Manipur-born Jackichand Singh.

Added to these names, the likes of Brandon Fernandes, and make Goa a formidable outfit and the Bengaluru defence could come under immense pressure.

Goa's defence would be manned by Mourtada Fall, Mohamed Ali, Carlos Pena, Seriton Fernandes and Lalhmangaih.

It would be also interesting to see whether Goa use the services of or opt for Naveen Kumar, who also has been quite impressive this season.

While Bengaluru's Indian players are in better form, Goa's game is heavily dependent on their foreigners, especially Corominas, and Bedia and if they don't play well, Goa tend to suffer.

For Bengaluru, two important players who have the ability to change the course of a game anytime are Miku and the charismatic

Chhetri has so far netted nine goals and would want him to be at his best and will expect the same from Miku, who has scored five times.

Bengaluru will also have high expectations from Udanta Singh, who has so far struck five goals.

They also have an array of strong mid-fielders and defenders, who will have to be on their toes against an impressive forwardline.

The southern outfit also has in its ranks India's Gurpreet, who has made 59 saves this season. He would be more than keen to maintain a clean sheet, but considering Goa's form it won't be an easy task.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 14:50 IST