Silverware of Sadaoui’s mind as Goa look to upset Mumbai

Noah Sadaoui
Noah Sadaoui (PC: X)

Noah Sadaoui, the FC Goa forward, exudes confidence ahead of their pivotal encounter against Mumbai City FC in the ISL 2023-24 semi-final. Despite a promising start, Goa fell short of clinching the prestigious ISL Shield. Sadaoui, their Moroccan striker who joined last season, has netted 11 goals and provided six assists this campaign, and is determined that the team redeem themselves and secure Goa’s first ISL Championship Trophy.

“The aim, like always, is to win the ISL Cup and contribute to the club’s history,” said Sadaoui in an exclusive interview with RevSportz. “We feel very positive and are confident of playing a good game against Mumbai City FC at home on Wednesday. Though we have the larger aim in mind, we are focused on taking things step by step.”

Following a 7th-place finish last season, FC Goa appointed Manolo Marquez as their head coach for the ongoing campaign. Marquez’s tactical acumen and positional guidance have spearheaded the Gaurs’ resurgence this season. Sadaoui praised the Spanish head coach for his invaluable contributions to his development.

“I’m more or less happy with my performance and the work we’ve done together,” he said when asked about Marquez’s impact. “There is always room to improve in terms of all that you can do to help your team, and coach has been of great help. With him, sometimes I have to learn tactically how to position myself and so on. I scored two goals more so far this season than the previous, but also with coach, I think I have learned some things which I didn’t do last year, and I know I can get better in the future.”

Since joining Goa last season, Sadaoui has consistently displayed his scoring prowess. After an impressive contribution in his first campaign, with 9 goals and 9 assists, he has continued to shine this season.

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Noah Sadaoui for FC Goa
Noah Sadaoui for FC Goa (PC: X)

“I enjoy this, of course,” he said. “It’s my duty as a footballer to do everything I can to contribute to the success of this team, and it’s not just about the goals and the assists. Will push myself and the team, for us to win.”

Sadaoui has been part of the Moroccan national team, which won the AFCON in 2021. Additionally, he achieved success with Raja Athletic Club in Morocco by securing the CAF Confederation Cup. However, despite his unwavering efforts, he is yet to lift silverware in the FC Goa jersey. Despite being considered one of the favourites to lift the Shield, Goa’s campaign was marred by a sudden dip in form, which ultimately dashed their hopes. However, Sadaoui has shifted his focus towards the ultimate goal of winning the ISL Trophy.

“For sure, you feel the disappointment when you look at the points and know you were very close to winning the Shield,” he said. “There are several ifs. This is football, now we have to focus on winning the ISL Trophy.”

As Sadaoui and his teammates brace for the challenge against Mumbai, two-time Shield winners, he draws confidence from past encounters against the Islanders.

“We had good games against Mumbai City in the league phase, although both matches ended as draws,” said Sadaoui. “We could have won the second match especially. We were unlucky because a few attempts on goal struck the crossbar and the goalposts and went out. We hope to show the same quality tomorrow – but this is a single match that can decide the fate of both teams, so it’s going to be a very different scenario. What we’ve done so far will not matter as much as what we can do in the match tomorrow.”

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