PANAJI: FC Goa fans have found a new way to enjoy the Club’s away games this season in the ISL – live screenings organised by the Gaurs themselves at the Clube Harmonia de Margao in Margao. Instead of watching matches alone at home, fans have come together to watch their team in action.
The atmosphere at these screenings has been nothing short of electric, with fans chanting, celebrating, and soaking in the camaraderie. Walid Khan from Ambajim expressed his enthusiasm after attending them, describing it as “an amazing experience,” while Sumeet Khandolkar from Davorlim said, “We showed up with our flags, just like we would at the stadium in home matches.”
The sense of togetherness and the opportunity to support the team collectively have left fans eager for more. Rajat Naik from Ponda emphasized how it felt like”being at a home game, with the same energy and fellow fans”. This unique experience has added an exciting dimension to following FC Goa this season.
FC Goa’s performance in the ISL 2023-24 campaign has also left fans thrilled. The team’s impressive record of four wins and a draw in five matches, coupled with their position at the top of the league table, has ignited hope and excitement among supporters. Coach Manolo Marquez has garnered praise for instilling a winning mentality in the squad, with fans like Walid crediting him for the team’s dedication and effort on the field.
Savio Rodrigues from Margao expressed his optimism, saying, “With the new coach, FC Goa is on the path to winning the championship. The positive start to the season has heightened expectations, with all of us convinced that this could be the year when FC Goa tops the honours.”
Fans have also noticed a significant shift in the team’s performances this season. Sumeet noted improvements in defensive performances and praised Coach Manolo’s impact on the team’s setup. This change, after a couple of less impressive seasons, has rekindled the enthusiasm of long-standing supporters like Rajat Naik, who felt confident about a strong comeback this time.
A standout feature of this season has been the performances of individual players. Fans have heaped praise on players like Jay Gupta.
“He is a good player with a great skill-set, and if he continues to develop at this rate, I think he will be involved with the Indian senior national team soon. Initially, when Aibanbha Dohling left the club on a transfer to Kerala Blasters, I was a bit sad, but with Jay, I think we’ve found an excellent replacement,” said Sayyed Shahzan from Margao.
Another player who has earned significant acclaim is Sandesh Jhingan, whose addition to the team’s roster has bolstered the defense. Supporters like Sumeet have hailed Jhingan as the best signing of the summer, emphasizing the impact he has made on the team’s performance.
Arshdeep Singh has also made a name for himself among the Club’s faithful. He is doing a good job in terms of goalkeeping. After signing with FC Goa last summer, he did not get many chances in their 2022-23 campaign, but he waited for his turn and made the most of it when he finally got it. I still remember his crucial save against Chennaiyin FC when he denied Jordan Murray a clear goal-scoring chance with his outstretched leg. I hope he continues to impress,” said Rajat Naik.
The atmosphere at FC Goa’s home stadium, Fatorda, has been nothing short of electric. Fans described the stadium experience as spectacular, with chants, cheers, and a crescendo of noise that accompanies the team’s performance.
Savio Rodrigues from Margao was confident that other teams were apprehensive about facing FC Goa at Fatorda, signifying the formidable fortress that the stadium has become.
As FC Goa’s campaign in the ISL 2023-24 season gains momentum, the team can count on unwavering support from its passionate fan base, who are excitedly hoping for more victories and a return to their glory days.
The Men in Orange will return to their backyard at Fatorda for their next three assignments, where they will take on Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters FC and Mumbai City FC. The matches are on November 27, December 3 and December 12, respectively.