FC Goa went toe to toe and almost capitalized on their goal hunted early on in the third minute of the game, putting up a stellar display throughout.
The Gaurs locked horns with the Qatari side Al Rayyan last night, who flew down to the subcontinent with the French legend Laurent Blanc at their helm. Although the game ended in stalemate, the Indian globetrotters would definitely take back some important learnings from the encounter. Here are the five talking point of the game :
The Ortiz Show #
The man in form, Jorge Ortiz scored a stellar goal on the rebound as he went on to rejoice with his trademark celebration. The Bowman took the defenders on a ride as he perfectly converted a beautiful ball served by Brandon Fernandes, despite a bit of stumble. Ortiz was a busy man on the pitch last night as he covered the hard yards and led the attack for the Gaurs. Albeit he started with a protective bandage on his nose, the Spaniard never put a wrong foot as he glanced past the Al Rayyan back-four multiple times.
Dheeraj stands tall..
The young stalwart, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem yet again made a mark for the Gaurs. His presence on the pitch clearly displayed what value he adds to the table. The 20 year old Goalkeeper almost registered another clean sheet to his name. Having blocked some crucial shots, the FC Goa custodian has the most number of saves to his name so far with 2 clean sheets and 19 saves. Dheeraj was previously named in the AFC Champions League Matchday squad for two consecutive times citing his dominating performance.
Serve it like Brandon!
Brandon Fernandes registered another assist to his name and how! A lobbed ball straight into the shooting range for the striker just depicts his vision and accuracy. Having a persona like Brandon in your squad is a rarity. He has been involved in every single goal that FC Goa has scored in the Champions League. Interestingly, whenever it comes to the continental stages, Brandon becomes an indispensable figure on the pitch. He has also assisted all the goals for the National team at FIFA World Cup – Asian qualifiers. The pass-master will fancy to add more assists to his tally in the next game.
Long-rangers beating the purpose
FC Goa were cruising with the one goal lead when some of the players seemed to take some attempts on the goal for fun. On such a crucial stage, the long range shots could rather be converted in a few high press attacks. Another goal would have sealed the deal for the Gaurs, but unfortunately none of the attacks were converted in the latter half of the game. Maybe the coach would rejig and look forward to some more purposeful transitions throughout the 90 minutes.
So close yet so far...
FC Goa fell short of inscribing their names in the history books as they faltered a bit in the dying minutes. Had it not been that equalizer from the feet of Ferydoon, FC Goa would have been the first Indian club to win their maiden game in the AFC Champions League group stage. With this draw, and Wahda’s win over Persepolis, Goa are bowed out of the Round of 16 contention. The Gaurs were denied the prestigious feat, but Coach Juan Ferrando and his men would eye on their next challenge to take the final leap against Al Wahda and grab a positive result.