FC Goa secured an important point after holding Laurent’s Al-Rayyan SC to a goalless draw in their first-ever AFC Champions League fixture at the Fatorda Stadium, Margao.
In an incredibly cagey game in the 2021 AFC Champions League at the Fatorda, FC Goa and Al-Rayyan SC split points following a goalless draw. No sooner the match kicked off, the Gaurs delved onto showing incredible resilience and determination to keep their opponents at the bay.
With Yacine Brahimi leading the attack, the Al-Rayyan side looked dominant in the majority of the game, creating the best chances in the final thirds. However, a grit defensive performance by the Ferrando’s men helped FC Goa denying Blanc’s side, who simply didn’t stop all night long. On that note, let’s have a look at five major talking points in the game.
1. Al- Rayyan kicked off with all guns blazing
The Qatari Giants, Al-Rayyan making their 13th appearance in AFC Champions League, purveyed to a flying start. No sooner the match kicked off, the Laurent Blanc-led side delved onto their attacking brand of football. They were successful in the final thirds, pressing FC Goa whenever the hosts get the ball.
Al-Rayyan enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession in the starting minutes of the game. At the sixth-minute mark, Yacine Brahimi won the ball out of Ortiz’s loose possession and made a quick run into the box, but Goa’s custodian clears it off making a quick reaction. Yet another beautiful opportunity presented itself just three minutes later as Yohan Boli hit the side netting following another sloppy giveaway from the home side. In the first half, the Al-Rayyan side was nearly gifted five superior chances, but Ferrando’s defense stood grit to deny the Qatar force.
2. FC Goa go toe to toe against Blanc’s Men
FC Goa looked more and more confident as the game approached the half-hour mark. Post a sloppy start, Goa sorted itself out at the back soon after and started dictating the tempo as the game went on. At the 32nd minute mark, FC Goa nearly got its first hand when Romario with the ball, flicked a diagonal pass into the box in search of Pandita. But Pandita who was well contained by Rayyan defenders, had no luck of the draw as the opposition’s goalkeeper Younis collected the ball easily.
In the 42nd minute of the play, Alexander Romario struck a ferocious effort towards the Al-Rayyan’s post from outside the box, but it was brilliantly saved by the Custodian Younis. At the end of the first half, the possession seemed well balanced, FC Goa created spaces to attack, and have come past away cutting down on the tendency of making silly errors.