ISL 2023-24: Chennaiyin face FC Goa in their last league stage game

Margao (Goa), April 13 (IANS): Having already sealed their berth in the playoffs after a sensational hat-trick of wins, in-form Chennaiyin FC will take on FC Goa in their final league stage game of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

Chennaiyin FC produced all-round performances in their last three matches as all their seven goals were scored by different players, ensuring the team’s place in the playoffs after four years. The Marina Machans also became the first ISL side to register three consecutive comeback wins and head coach Owen Coyle feels that his men can take confidence from this impressive achievement as it’s always the real test of character when the football pressure is on.

While addressing the media ahead of Sunday’s clash, Coyle said: “In terms of the football club and the fans particularly, of course it’s a terrific boost. But it’s only the first step on the journey as far as I’m concerned. I’m a champion. I’m used to winning things. That’s what I like to do. I’ve done it all over the world. I’ve done it here in India. We’ll do it again. We always trusted. We knew. It’s never how you start; it’s how you finish in football. People remember how you finish games. And that’s what we had to make sure.”

With the result of the match not affecting Chennaiyin’s position in the table, the Scotsman hinted at resting key players and giving some game time to youngsters.

“Knowing that we don’t have to achieve anything from the game (against FC Goa). So, I can certainly look at several things. So let’s see what happens tomorrow. There will be changes guaranteed.

“You know, there are lots of changes, but we’ll go in there, try to win the game and then get ourselves ready for whoever we play on April 19th and 20th.”

Defender Bikash Yumnam, who has been a vital cog in Chennaiyin’s campaign this season, spoke highly about Coyle and his support, especially for young Indian players. “As compared to the last two years, I’m trying to improve a lot. As a coach, he [Owen Coyle] gave me lots of confidence and encourages us to improve the game,” commented Yumnam, who has registered 10 successful tackles this season.

Chennaiyin are placed sixth in the points table after winning eight matches this season whereas Goa, on the other hand, are sitting at third position with 12 wins from 21 matches so far which also includes a six-match unbeaten streak.

FC Goa had won the last match played between these two teams earlier this season.

Overall, in the head-to-head series, FC Goa have the advantage, having won 13 matches while Chennaiyin have won nine with two matches ending in draws.



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Title: ISL 2023-24: Chennaiyin face FC Goa in their last league stage game

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