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ISL 2015 Semi-finals: Can Carlos' Delhi Dynamos out-think Zico's FC Goa in first leg?

Photo Credit: ISL Twitter

Photo Credit: ISL Twitter

Zico’s side, FC Goa, holds a psychological edge over Roberto Carlos' Dynamos having beaten Delhi twice in the league stage.

New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos and FC Goa will go head to head once again this season and this time it will be for a place in the finals of the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here will host the first leg of the first semi-final on Friday with Zico’s side, FC Goa, holds a psychological edge over Roberto Carlos' Dynamos having beaten Delhi twice in the league stage.

Goa, who lost in the semi-finals last season on penalties finished the league phase in top spot, while Delhi saw themselves drop to fourth following the defeat to Goa in the final game of the group stage. In a thrilling encounter, Goa came back from 2-0 down to win the match 3-2. In the process they became the first ISL side to overcome a two-goal deficit to win.

Dynamos have scored the least number of goals (18) among the four semi-finalists but Carlos has built the team primarily on tactical discipline and organisation.

On the defensive front, they have been pretty solid. They had just conceded 20 goals in the league stage but the worrying point is that of those 20 they have let in six in the last two games. Probably it was complacency that crept into Delhi's game knowing they are already through to the semis. But Carlos will hope his defenders get their act together in the semi-final.

Despite losing both league games against Goa, Carlos knows his team has enough potential to create an upset and make it to the final.

“The semi-final is of 180 minutes [home and away legs]. So tomorrow, nothing will be decided. We have to keep performing like we did in the first half of the last game [against FC Goa in our concluding league fixture]. For us, this is going to be a nice game. We will do our duty but the match," Carlos said in a press conference ahead of the game.

On the other hand, Zico is not getting carried away with the result from the previous games and believes it is these two games that would go on to define the season.

“It [2/2 wins over Delhi] has nothing to do. Every game is a story. It’s a completely different game and we just have to focus on the semi-final,” said the Goa manager.

Real Madrid legend Carlos will also hope that previous mistakes on different fronts get sorted and he has a sound defensive organisation from his team.

Carlos will want Norwegian great John Arne Riise at centre-back to lead the defensive line-up with consistent Anas. On the other hand Frenchman Florent Malouda will be at the heart of the midfield along with Dos Santos.

Robin Singh will once again lead the attacking front and could be the key to scoring goals.

Zico has the whole team available for selection and Romeo Fernandez will be a likely starter. Romeo came on from the bench to score twice against Delhi in the last league game. Kattimani, Leo Moura, Gregory Arnolin and Raju Gaikwad will surely feature in the playing XI.

Zico’s men will come into this game high on confidence after their comeback win in the previous encounter. And with the Delhi side leaking goals at the back, Zico's boys could be returning home with an advantage before the second leg at home.