The Indian Super League awaits an exciting semifinal clash ahead, which will be between FC Goa and Mumbai City FC. After drawn against Hyderabad FC, FC Goa secured their place in the playoffs being 13 matches unbeaten. The 22-year-old Indian striker Ishan Pandita answered questions in a round-table press conference.
Pandita joined the U-16 UD Almeria team in 2016 and since then had spells at U-19 Leganes and Lorca FC last year. The Bengaluru-born didn’t miss the chance to join FC Goa at the start of the season. Recently, he has been named among the probable for the two friendly against Qatar and Oman.
“I already did say that I came to India to get into the national team and that was the main intention. In Spain, I was playing but not enough people recognized me. So I understood if I come back home and perform well will catch the attention of the national team coach. People saw what I could do or what I have done till now. I am excited for the challenge of the India national team,” said Ishan.
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Due to the tough competition in the squad, Ishan came in as a substitute mainly and scored four goals in 56 minutes, across nine matches. Speaking of his performance,
“You can always look at it in two ways. I have not played much football at all, hardly some minutes but I have contributed to a team with four vital goals. I am very excited that semifinals are up now because the team has done fantastically throughout the season.“
Pandita looked worried about the threat possessed by Mumbai City FC’s Hugo Boumous and about the absence of some players in FC Goa itself due to injuries and suspension.
“It will be a tough game. I guess as Boumous will be added to their squad it will be a bit more of a threat for us. But, we will miss players like Noguera and Ivan. So, we will try and put in our best to beat Mumbai City FC,” Ishan told.
Ishan quoted being playing under Juan and said,
“Juan is a very good coach. I have been doing my best to develop myself under his style. I am improving myself every day, hopefully, I will get some more minutes on the field. I would say you always need to be with a positive mentality. I want to help my team as much as possible.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Super League is running behind closed doors. Commenting on the same,
“Honestly, the bio-bubble is tough, but we should look at things in brighter aspects. We just need to be in it for a few more days and need to put all our efforts into upcoming games. We all are prepared and focused.”
“I would love to play in fan-packed Fatorda stadium. I wish, hopefully soon fans will be allowed into the stadiums,” concluded Ishan.