ISL 2017: MCFC skipper Goian confident of team's defence line

ANI | Updated: Nov 28, 2017 20:40 IST

Mumbai [India], Nov 28 (ANI): Captain Lucian Goian, ahead of his team Mumbai City Football Club's match with FC Pune, said that he is confident that his team's defence line could keep any team at bay.

In the opener against Bangalore FC, Mumbai City lost after conceding two goals but bounced back in the home game against FC Goa winning 2-1.

The team will now face FC Pune who also have a similar track record - having lost their first match to Delhi Dynamos 2-3 before recording a thumping 4-1 victory at Atletico de Kolkata.

The heartening aspect of Pune's victory was the return to form of their star striker Marcelinho, who booted two goals.

However, Goian seems confident of his team and his defence line.

"I know that him (Marcelinho) along with Alfaro, they're good players and it won't be easy. But like I'd said in Bangalore too, we don't like making plans for specific players. We're playing against 11 players and our plan is to stop all 11 of them. We've seen most of these players play last season too and we're sure we can use that to our advantage," the 34-year-old said.

Goian, who is second in the tackles list with 18, behind FC Goa's Moroccan International Ahmed Jahouh's 21, admits every Mumbai defender will have to come good like they did in against Goa.

"You have to understand that when a team defends, it's 11 players who defend. It starts from the strikers through the midfield and then at the back. In Bengaluru, we had a bad game and we didn't play like the way we can. But we managed to rectify that against FC Goa and I believe we can be the same strong defensive unit as we were last season," he added.

The encounter is also expected to throw up key battles especially on the wings as Raju Gaikwad and Gerson Viera try to stop the Pune wingers from putting in the dangerous balls for their forward line, while new recruit Marcio Rozario along with Goian will look to deny Marcelinho & Co any breathing space in front of the goal.

Another key battle will be in the centre of the midfield between FC Pune City's Marcos Tebar, who will be looking to dictate the pace, and the vastly experienced Achille Emana, a former FC Toulouse player, who can breakdown rival defences with his measured passes.

"Emana is the perfect number 10," insists Goian.

"He loves to be on the ball and he can make all the difference with his ability to pass. He's immensely experienced and we're sure he can be a key cog in the wheel," he added.

Abhinas Ruidas is the dark horse in this battle. Having earned two 'Emerging Player of the match' awards in both the games, the most by any player so far in this edition of the ISL, he will be aiming to convert these honours into goals.

Another key player for the Islanders is last year's Golden Glove winner Amrinder Singh as he will be looking to extend his dominant performance under the bar. (ANI)