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Super Cup: Defending champion FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC renew rivalry
Kozhikode |Monday, 2023 2:15:09 AM IST

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Defending champion FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC go head-to-head to open their Super Cup campaign in Group C at the EMS Corporation Stadium here on Monday.

Both sides were underperformers in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season -- Jamshedpur more so as they finished second from the bottom with just five wins and 19 points. However, three of those wins came in the final four games, which has given the Red Miners some confidence heading into the Super Cup.

Goa ended up missing the ISL play-offs by just three points, but they've got themselves to blame for it as they failed to win any of their last three matches.

As far as the Super Cup is concerned, it will be a renewed rivalry. Goa and Jamshedpur have met in both previous editions of the tournament, with the former coming out on top each time.

The Gaurs thrashed the Red Miners 5-1 in 2018 before edging them 4-3 in 2019, both in the quarterfinal stage. Goa then went on to win the Super Cup title in 2019.

Goa head coach Carlos Pena, who was part of the playing squad which lifted the Super Cup in Bhubaneswar, recalled his cherished moments from four years ago and said: "It was an amazing tournament for us. Very happy memories indeed. But it was a long time ago, and now, our focus is only on the current tournament, starting with tomorrow's match against Jamshedpur."

Goa and Jamshedpur met twice in the ISL this season, with the former winning the first game 3-0 at home before a 2-2 draw in Jamshedpur.

"We know them (Jamshedpur) very well. We are here to compete and win. This is going to be the game that marks our future," Pena added.

His counterpart Jamshedpur FC head coach Aidy Boothroyd was rather pragmatic. He said, "Of course, it's not been the best of seasons for us. But we've done well since Christmas. We want to try and continue that here in the Super Cup."

The Hero Club Playoff slot for the AFC Cup on offer has provided extra motivation to both sides. Goa became the first Indian side to qualify for the AFC Champions League Group Stage in 2021, and will not mind another return to continental competition.

Jamshedpur, who were beaten 1-3 in the AFC Champions League qualifying play-off by Mumbai City just last week, will have another chance to bid for a first-ever continental appearance via the Hero Super Cup.



( 427 Words)

2023-04-09-20:02:02 (IANS)


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