Hyderabad: It was a morale-boosting performance by Hyderabad FC when they secured a 1-1 draw against defending champions Bengaluru FC at GMC Balayogi Stadium last week. Interestingly, Phil Brown’s men are up against last year’s finalists FC Goa at the same venue on Sunday, who played out a 2-2 stalemate against Kerala Blasters in their previous match.
Hyderabad FC, despite being at the bottom of the table (4 points), can take inspiration from the fact that FC Goa is not in their best of form, having just one win from their last five matches. The visitors are currently fifth in the points table with nine points.
HFC will miss the services of Sahil Panwar, who was shown the red card in the last match. Head coach Phil Brown backed the Indian defender by saying that Sahil’s tackle was done for the best interest of the team and added that he is not worried about his opponents. “I was happy with the way my team has performed in the last match. If all your 25 members are fit and raring to go, you get plenty of options. Adil Khan is back after the injury and we have not yet decided the best position for him. I remember the last year’s ISL final where Goa and Bengaluru played their heart out and we expect nothing less from them. But, I’m sure that my boys are going to give it their best,” the coach added.
When asked about the irony of having the goalkeeper (Kamaljit Singh) with the most number of saves (24) and being the side which conceded the most number of goals, the coach admitted that defence is an area that HFC need to catch up. “We tried out several combinations in the past few matches. Maybe, it is time to create a stable game plan. I’m working on it,” the coach added.
For Goa, Len Doungel, Hugo Boumous and Ahmed Jahouh are back from suspension. However, there are still question marks over the fitness of their talisman Ferran Corominas from Spain.