1. Sense Of Unfinished Business – The wounds from last season’s wild pendulum final haven’t healed yet. After having come so close and lost it all in the span of a few minutes, the team will be itching to make things right and lift the trophy. The heartbreak and anguish, if harnessed well, can drive them beyond their ‘on paper’ potential. The injured beast is hungry for revenge.
2. Coach Zico – This Brazilian mastermind has proven his mettle in the ISL. His tactics and training methods have made the Goan side table toppers last year. Even though the world cup winner has come close and not won it, he’s still the man Goans will want to see on their touchline, shouting instructions.
3. The Fans – Studies have shown that decibel levels have a positive impact on home teams. With the loud, passionate and loyal set of supporters that FC Goa has, the team will surely feed off the crowd’s energy and give more than their 100%. This effect will be much more on the home-grown players who are more connected to their fans.
4. Local Players – It means a great deal for any player to represent his/her local team. While it is a greater honour to play for the national team, the connection between a local player and the fans is more deeply rooted. Talented Goans like Mandar Rao Dessai and Romeo will be intensely backed by the fans which will make them push past their potential.
5. Previous High Stakes Encounters – Modern day football involves more analysis than ever before. Not only does the team have an analysis session, but almost all players are asked to look into the depths of detail of each and every minute of their previous game’s personal performance. Now since the team has been exposed to high-pressure situations like the semi-final and the final, they have a base from which to learn and build on. Because of the nature of their previous defeats, the team will surely take a long hard look at themselves and plot a path to lifting the trophy this time round.