FC Goa, who have failed to make it to the semi-finals, will now play for pride when they take on Chennaiyin FC in their last match of the Indian Super League football on Thursday.
Last year’s runners-up Goa are at the bottom with 11 points from 13 matches and even if they win their last game against Chennaiyin FC they will finish below all the teams.
While Chennaiyin FC, the last year winners, who have also failed to make it to the semi-finals have 15 points, the same as NorthEast United and FC Pune City, but are placed seventh on account of inferior goal difference.
Goa were hammered 1-5 by Delhi Dynamos in their last match and coach Zico will want to finish with a positive result.
“Delhi is a very good team, very compact; they know how to play their game. In the first half, we held them but in the second they found their way. The other thing is that when there is a motivation factor you play in a certain way, like if the team is in the hunt for semis… We had nothing like that going for us so that also played a role,” Zico told reporters at the customary pre-match media conference.
Chennaiyin are also out of the league but they will look to finish as high as possible with a victory against us, Zico
Chennaiyin were in the race for a place in semi-finals until they conceded a goal in the last minute at home against NorthEast in a 3-3 draw. That result pushed Chennaiyin out of the race.
The problem for Marco Materazzi’s side has been that they have let in late goals on far too many occasions, leading to loss of points from dominating positions.
Besides NorthEast United, Chennaiyin suffered late setbacks against Atletico de Kolkata, Mumbai City FC and FC Pune City.
Despite being knocked out of the race for the play-offs, Materazzi said he was proud of his team’s efforts and highlighted the achievements in the first three years.
“If somebody told me three years ago that come to India and you will reach the semi-finals in the first year and win in the second year and we would go out like this in the third year, I would still sign up,” said Materazzi.
“So I am happy about the performance (against NorthEast United) and now we can play as good as we can in the next game against Goa.”