Margao (Goa) [India], November 24 (ANI): FC Goa will face a tough challenge in their second encounter of the Indian Super League as they will take on former head coach Sergio Lobera's side, Mumbai City FC, the man who is credited for giving a strong foundation to The Gaurs.
Lobera parted ways with the club before the start of the seventh edition of the ISL and joined the Mumbai-based team after spending three years in Goa.
Lobera may not show the emotions on camera, but he would know what he has given in defining the identity of FC Goa. The Fatorda Stadium is the scene of some of Lobera's most memorable moments as a coach in India. During his time at the club, he guided Goa to a Super Cup triumph and multiple top-four finishes.
Lobera, after taking over from Brazilian legend Zico, moulded the team according to his footballing philosophy and forged them into one of the most entertaining outfits in the ISL. For that, he is still held in high regard by the football community in the state. His influence at the club has outlasted his own tenure -- the way they played against Bengaluru FC in the first outing of this season suggests that new coach Juan Ferrando's job will be to build on the base that Lobera has set, rather than have a complete break with the past.
Arjuna Awardee Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, the legendary Indian goalkeeper, admires the Spaniard for what he did for Goa.
"Lobera had a positive approach at FC Goa and has transformed the side. I liked the way his team played. He has given the club a strong foundation," Sankhwalkar, who is currently heading the Goa Football Development Council, stated.
His views are echoed by India international Climax Lawrence. "When Lobera arrived, FC Goa supported him by giving him a free hand in forming the team. He definitely brought a change to their play, bringing in good players like Coro (Ferran Corominas) and (Ahmed) Jahouh. Now that he is gone, he will be respected but the show must go on. I think the new coach Ferrando has also assembled a strong side. The clash will be emotional for many, but also an interesting one." he said.
FC Goa will take on Mumbai City FC at Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday. (ANI)