Panaji: As the 2022-23 edition of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) heads into its home stretch with several crucial games lined up, seven different teams are still in the race for the playoffs, including FC Goa who next face league leaders Mumbai City FC at home on Saturday.
The Islanders are on course to pull off what could be one for the history books, as they are just four games away from finishing the league season unbeaten. On their path, however, stand the Gaurs led by captain Brandon Fernandes, who is confident of ending their opponents’ dream run.
“We have full faith in ourselves, especially when it comes to playing at our home. We believe that we’re capable of beating anyone here,” he said on Thursday.
And the same applies for Mumbai City, according to the Indian international. “Our record at Fatorda has been good so far this season, winning six out of eight games – and it’s not hard to see why. We’ve dominated and posed strong challenges to each of our opponents. While it’s true that they (Mumbai) are in good form at the moment, I believe we’ll be able to give them a tough time,” he explained.
FC Goa are currently in 4th place with 27 points. Fifth-placed ATK Mohun Bagan, also on 27 points currently with a game in hand, has the opportunity to leapfrog the Gaurs when they take on Jamshedpur FC on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC in 6th place are just two points behind the Men in Orange and could advance higher up the table if the latter drop points against the Islanders.
“I’m aware of the numbers, and I understand that the upcoming games are all important for us. We want to win each of our remaining three matches starting with the Mumbai clash,” Brandon Fernandes expressed his ambitions ahead of Saturday’s contest.
“We are confident of qualifying for the playoffs, but we’ll not be happy with just reaching that stage. We want to finish as high as we can on the points table, and the way forward to achieve that is to take home all the points that are up for grabs.
“Not only will that mean that we’ve achieved one of our objectives for the season, but it will also set the tone for our performances afterwards. It has been a decent season so far, and we want to have something to show for it by being successful,” the 28-year-old concluded.