CFC eyes redemption against FC Goa
Chennaiyin FC will look to avenge its Durand Cup loss and come out on top against FC Goa today in the ISL
CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC will look to put behind its loss against FC Goa earlier this season at the quarter-final stage of the Durand Cup to make it three wins in a row and climb to the top half of the table when they take on FC Goa today.
FC Goa hasn’t squandered three points this season except a draw against Bengaluru FC, in stark contrast to Chennaiyin FC, who endured three consecutive losses at the season’s outset. However, they’ve orchestrated a remarkable comeback as a cohesive unit, notching consecutive wins against Hyderabad and Punjab FC.
When they faced Goa earlier this season, Chennaiyin FC didn’t have the likes of defenders Lazar Cirkovic and Ryan Edwards. But as the Marina Machans prepare to take the field this Sunday, it promises to be an entirely different contest. Owen Coyle, speaking to the media ahead of the match, emphasized the importance of their defensive performance, stating, “Against a formidable side like FC Goa, we understand the necessity of solid defending. We believe we have exceptionally talented individuals, but they must harmonize within the team structure, fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.”
Chennaiyin FC has embraced various tactical formations, allowing players to adapt to multiple positions. Owen Coyle acknowledged the significance of versatile players within the squad. Rahim Ali, who had a quiet start to the new season, has been playing well as a centre forward. Coyle added, “People often perceive strikers solely as goal scorers, but the most vital aspect for strikers is to facilitate ball movement. This enables us to introduce rotations and involve other players in the game.”
Rafael Crivellaro has been the linchpin of Chennaiyin’s play. When asked if the team relies heavily on him to build its play, Coyle commented, “Crivellaro is a pivotal part of our team. Like most teams, they have that special player in its ranks, and ours is Crivellaro. When he has possession of the ball, it gets exciting because I like watching wonderful players play and he is one of them. While we have scored from chances created by Crivellaro, there are numerous opportunities created by others that we have converted. This proves that we are not entirely dependent on him, giving us more freedom while playing.”
Crivellaro shared his perspective, stating, “At this moment, it’s crucial for the team to perform well. It’s not just about me making good passes; we’re fortunate if someone else steps up. Every player’s performance is important.”
Regarding whether Chennaiyin will look to change strategically to counter FC Goa’s late substitutions which could squander Chennaiyin’s chances given the team’s been conceding some late goals, Coyle expressed his disagreement, saying, “We don’t alter our approach for anyone. They are a strong team, but so are we. Late substitutions of players like Noah Sadaoui or Brandon don’t concern us. We’re playing at home, and we realise that it will be a challenging match. My focus is on our players,” he said.
Owen Coyle discussed winter transfer window in January though it’s still early days stating that “I’ll look at our squad again, will freshen it up if needed, keep building Chennaiyin, which we’ll need to do,” he concluded.