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Indian Super League | Rowlin Borges keen to deliver in front of home fans in Goa

Special moment: Rowin Borges with the young trainees at a kids clinic for Adidas at Turfpark, St. Andrew’s HS ground, Bandra.

Special moment: Rowin Borges with the young trainees at a kids clinic for Adidas at Turfpark, St. Andrew’s HS ground, Bandra.  

FC Goa is in the news after the sudden sacking of chief coach Sergio Lobera by the management, sans any explanation for a drastic decision.

Local fans expressed displeasure on TV channels in Goa at the shock exit of their favourite coach at a time when their favourite club was on top of the Indian Super League (ISL) season six standings then.

The players also admitted to being caught by surprise, but put the controversy behind in a 4-1 rout of Hyderabad FC at home and confirmed a semifinal berth — Goa is second behind ATK currently.

With the Lobera issue still a talking point in the ISL, Goa will host Mumbai City FC at the Nehru Stadium (Margao) on February 12. Interestingly, a key player in the visitor’s line-up, under coach Jorge Costa, is Goa-born Rowlin Borges, whose career took off at Sporting Club de Goa before ISL clubs came calling.

Emotional fans

The 27-year-old India international faces the prospect of playing inside a stadium packed with emotional fans rooting for FC Goa, now managed by Technical Director Derrick Pereira.

Borges appreciates the Goans’ support for the home club and realises that overflowing fan emotions can be a factor against the visiting team, but is undeterred.

“It does not matter if I am playing in a packed stadium on empty one. I have to give my best for my team, winning is the most important thing,” he said on the sidelines of a kids clinic for Adidas at Turfpark, St. Andrew’s HS ground, Bandra.

Familiar with the Goan passion for football, he expressed surprise for the open display of support for the sacked coach from Spain. Fans were shown on local TV channels shouting slogans in support of Lobera at the airport, and the midfielder remarked: “I have not seen anything like this before in Goa. It shows the love for the coach from the fans. It is a good thing they are also giving credit to a coach for what he has done with FC Goa.”

Borges is eager to deliver at the Nehru stadium, because his family and friends will be in the stands. He does not know if they will cheer for him or roar for FC Goa, but the renewed interest for football in Goans is applauded.

Huge fan base

“The fan base of FC Goa is very huge. It is like a family, they come to cheer every home match,” he said, adding: “Almost every Goan is happy as their team is doing well in the league and are enjoy the FC Goa’s style of football.”

He is clear about what Costa expects from his team. “We are supposed to press (the opponent team) hard, win the ball and if we can retain possession, try to do it.”

Mumbai City faces a must-win game against FC Goa in the race for a semifinals berth. For Borges, a top-four finish will put him in good form when the Indian national camp resumes next month for a World Cup qualifier against Qatar, the best team in Asia.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:39:55 AM |

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