Panaji: Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) will look to return to winning ways and secure a semi-final berth when they take on bottom-placed FC Goa in an Indian Super League (ISL) football match here on Thursday.
With three matches to go, ATK will have to go one better and engineer a win which has been eluding them for the last four matches where they have lost one and drawn three.
Jose Molina’s men conceded in the second half in their last game away to Chennaiyin FC after marquee striker Helder Postiga had given them the lead in the 39th minute.
The defence has been a bane for ATK with neither central pairings of Arnab Mondal or Tiri, or Mondal and Henrique Sereno or Tiri and Sereno playing well in tandem.
Interestingly, striker Iain Hume was an unused substitute in Chennai with Juan Belencoso preferred over the Canadian up top in a 4-2-3-1 formation that had Postiga playing from behind Belencoso.
Placed third with four points off table toppers Mumbai City FC, who have played a game more, ATK will have to see off challenges from FC Pune City, Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United who are all in contention for the semi-finals.
Goa are mathematically still in contention but for all practical purposes will play for pride.
Coming to Goa, although the Zico-coached side have won two of their four matches, last year’s finalists have never been able to fully recover from a poor start to the campaign.
Lack of quality players has jolted their ride more often than not this season. Goa have also played 11 matches so far like ATK, having 11 points.