Panaji: FC Goa’s attacking midfielder Mandar Rao Dessai was named “Gaur of the match” for his role in the Goan team’s 2-0 win over Delhi Dynamos FC in a Indian Super League (ISL) season 2 match. The on-loan Dempo SC player got on the end of Romeo Fernandes’ intimidating cross in FC Goa’s third minute opener, although the same was attributed as an own goal scored by the opponent’s defender Souvik Chakrabarti.
Mandar played an inspirational role on the left wing and almost set up team-mate Reinaldoda Cruz Oliveira, who eventually scored Goa’s second goal, in the 24th minute besides missing a golden opportunity in the 74th minute but was unsuccessful to get past goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh.
“We were really excited to play the first game and start with a win. Playing with my team-mates Leo Moura, Romeo, Reinaldo, while attacking we were all strong. So it was really good,” Mandar told FC Goa’s official website.
“All credit goes to the coach (Zico) because he has given us the confidence,” added the 23-year-old who was one of the Brazilian tactician’s regular starters in the second half turnaround last season. Mandar feels that his side has developed a better chemistry and co-ordination among players who struggled a bit to get started last season.
“This year we are attacking more fluently as we took some time to adjust last year. This time we started with a win. So it’s really good,” he remarked. The FC Goa player also believes that local talent have a lot of scope to reveal their full playing potential while rubbing their shoulders against top names in the competition. “To play with big names, local players have to give their best. Obviously, they are the best and we cannot compare them to us. So if local players give their best, the team can really play good. The foreign players support us and we get the confidence to go forward,” Mandar reasoned.