Manolo Marquez instill hope among fans as FC Goa secure best-ever start to an ISL season


Manolo Marquez instill hope among fans as FC Goa secure best-ever start to an ISL
Goa, November 6, 2023: In a stellar display of skill and teamwork across the past few
weeks, table-toppers FC Goa have secured their best-ever start to an Indian Super
League (ISL) season, amassing 13 points from their first five matches in the ongoing
2023-24 season of the league.
On Sunday, the Gaurs, led by head coach Manolo Marquez, showcased their prowess
once again as they triumphed 3-0 over Chennaiyin FC in a thrilling encounter,
surpassing their previous record set in 2017 when they had 12 points after five games.
This victory also marked their first-ever start to an ISL season with five unbeaten
In what is another interesting observation, the clash also witnessed the effectiveness
of Goa’s summer transfer activity. New domestic signings Boris Singh, Rowllin Borges
and Udanta Singh found the back of the net, while the likes of Victor Rodriguez, Carl
McHugh, Paulo Retre and Jay Gupta also made pivotal contributions, showcasing the
Club’s successful recruitment strategy.
Following the game, Coach Manolo Marquez expressed his thoughts on his team’s
“I think that we played a good game – maybe our best game this ISL (season). You
never know if a score is fair or not, (be it) 3-0, 2-0, 3-1, (and so on), but I think we
deserved to win this game. It’s true that when we were leading 2-0, there were some
moments in the second half when Chennaiyin FC pushed a lot. But finally, when we
scored the third goal, I felt it was game over,” he remarked.
“I’m very satisfied with the team. Today, I am happy because players like Boris (Singh)
and Rowllin (Borges) came in, and so did Brandon (Fernandes) and Noah (Sadaoui)
who were returning from an injury phase.
“Finally, when you can also give some minutes to players like (Muhammed) Nemil, I
think this is the best thing for a coach – to be able to try his players (without much
pressure),” the tactician further added.
Focus was important: Marquez
Reflecting on how the Men in Orange managed to handle pressure at the start of the
second half with a two-goal cushion, the Spaniard shared his insights, stating, “There
is an unwritten rule in football – when you are leading 2-0 at half-time, if the trailing
team scores a goal in the early minutes of the second half, it seems like they would
win the game.
“Chennaiyin were pushing a lot at this stage, so 2-0 was a dangerous score. I,
however, still prefer it over a 1-0 lead. With 1-0, you have to be very focused because
you know that the game is not over, but with 2-0, (only) if you tend to relax maybe
and the opponent scores, you can have problems. So far this league season, a few
that scored first in their matches eventually lost. Hence, we had to be very focused.”
When asked about the team’s room for improvement, Manolo Marquez responded
optimistically, saying, “I think that we can improve – but obviously, across the 22
games (we play in the league season), there will be good games, normal games, and
bad games.
“The important thing is that in all games, we have to remain very competitive. Till
now, I think that we have been so, even in games that we didn’t play very well,” he
signed off.
With their exceptional start to the ISL 2023-24 season, FC Goa have established
themselves as one of the teams to watch out for this season. Fans of the club are
undoubtedly excited about what the future holds, as the team continues to give
them hope with their performances.
Following the upcoming international break, the Men in Orange will return to their
backyard, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda, where they will play three
back-to-back home games across late November and early December.
About FC Goa
FC Goa is a professional football club based out of Goa that competes in the Hero
Indian Super League (ISL). Nicknamed the Gaurs, FC Goa has been one of the most
consistently successful teams in the ISL – reaching 4 semi-finals and 2 finals in 9
Heading into the 2023-24 season of the Hero ISL, FC Goa hold the record for the most
goals, joint-most golden boots and most number of playoff appearances (6 in total)
in the history of the competition.
In 2020, FC Goa also became the first team from India to qualify for the league stages
of the AFC Champions League, by virtue of winning the first-ever Hero ISL League
Winners Shield in the 2019-20 season.
The Gaurs’ trophy cabinet is further adorned by the 2019 Super Cup, the 2018-19 Goa
Pro League, the 2020 Goa Police Cup and the 2021 Durand Cup.
Co-owned by Mr Jaydev Mody, Mr Akshay Tandon and Mr Virat Kohli, FC Goa is one of
the few Indian clubs to have a complete youth development ecosystem. Its U13, U15,
U17, U18, U20 and Developmental Teams compete at the highest levels in Goa and

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