3. Defenders day out
In spite of the initial struggles and Al-Rayyan’s persistent pushes, FC Goa displayed grit and determination at the back to see the final tense moments out and held on to achieve a historic draw against one of the toughest teams in the competition. On most of the occasions, Al-Rayyan controlled the game well while FC goa was happy to defend and hit the Qatari Giants on the break.
Under the leadership of Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie, Goa’s defensive line-up kept hold of its promises, with each minute progressing into the play. Ivan Gonzalez looked very comfortable on the ball and was very alert to the threat of Yohan Boli and Yacine Brahimi. The defensive duo made four key interceptions, gave Al-Rayyan’s strikers a nightmare. The full-backs too did a fantabulous job at the back. Sanson Perieria kept the Al-Rayyan’s full-back Aeldin to his feet and prevented his side from the opposition’s attacking onset.
4. The mid-field show:
The mid-fielders of the FC Goa’s side flaunted a lot of promise. Captain Edu Bedia was successful in the middle of the park and pulled the strings with great efficiency with Glan Martins who played a top-notch box-to-box role. Jorge Ortiz and Brandon Fernandes took charge of the attack, with the latter maintaining a pass accuracy of 97% throughout the game.
On the other hand, Al Rayyan side perpetuated to a prolonged period of possession in and around Goa’s box. The likes of Yacine Brahimi and Al Hadhrami kept on winning the duels, foisting stout threats to the FC Goa’s defenders, and provided key passes to their strikers in the final thirds.
5. Historic chapter in the pages of Indian Football
A day to be remembered for ages. The gaurs just made sure that their maiden appearance in the AFC Champions League unfolded a new chapter in pages of Indian Football. FC Goa themselves did not conjure too many clear-cut chances, but Juan Ferrando will be happy with the success of his game-plan.