Panaji, Oct 29 (IANS) FC Goa on Thursday announced the signing of Brazilian striker Rafael Coelho for the rest of the Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2 as a replacement for Victor Simeos de Oliveira. Coelho, who started his career with Figueirense, played for the likes of Vasco da Gama and Avai FC in Brazil besides having the experience of playing in Asia. He featured for Guangzhou R&F Football Club and Changchun Yatai FC in the Chinese Super League (CSL) besides having a spell with Buriram United Football Club in the Thai Premier League.
Head coach Zico has not yet been able to assess the new striker to his satisfaction and decide when he can play his first game for FC Goa after arriving from Brazil on Wednesday while having problems with the striking department for the Goan side’s next match against FC Pune City on Friday. Darryl Duffy suffered a hairline fracture to his shin against Mumbai City FC, Reinaldo has an ankle injury and Victorino Fernandes has a groin injury while C.S. Sabeeth too is not 100 percent fit. This leaves Zico with the options of Joaquim Abranches, who hasn’t played a single minute this season, and Thongkhosiem Haokip currently at his disposal.
“I am very happy for the opportunity to be here. All my teammates received me very well. I hope to give my best and help the team to become champions. I have a lot of trust and confidence in the team after seeing how the team is working very hard and I hope to do my part as well,” said Rafael. Given his fitness, Victor Simoes was expected to be the team’s main striker. He scored a couple of goals in FC Goa’s pre-season in Dubai and was Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli SC’s joint top-scorer in the 2011-12 Saudi Professional League with 43 goals in 58 games. “It is a pity because Victor Simoes is such a good player. I know him for so many years. We tried to help him recover from his injury. We will miss him in our team because he could have been a very good asset,” said Zico.