FC Goa registered their second consecutive point in two appearances at the AFC Champions League as they held Al Wahda on level terms. We saw individual brilliances as well as a strong team effort, which culminated in a two match unbeaten run for the Gaurs.
In this article, we’ll be recapitulating some of the best talking points of the game –
Dheeraj Singh making the goalpost his fortress!
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The 20 year old Goalkeeper was an absolute stunner in front of the posts. Dheeraj put in an extra shift to make sure that nothing passes beyond him and helped constructing positional attacks from the back.
There were crucial chances in the dying minutes for Al Wahda, but the Goa custodian denied every single one of them. Rock solid at the back, the U17 Worldcupper is rated one of the best in the history of the club while at the same time reassuring his stature with the heroics he showcased.
So close, yet so FAR!
The Gaurs would have scored India’s first goal in the AFC Champions League group stage, had it not hit the woodwork. Brandon Fernandes might have missed out on the goal of his life as his attempt got deflected off the goalpost. FC Goa created enough chances to register the coveted three points in their kitty, but unfortunately none of them got converted. Despite of having numerical advantage at some instances we were not able to break the deadlock.
The Final-third Conundrum –
The Goan attackers have struggled a bit when it comes to the final third in this particular tournament. As difficult as it gets to make the right decision, that one pass can change the course of the match upside down. With Jorge Ortiz leading the pack, we could have expected some better dominance on the field for the match against Al Wahda, nevertheless a point earned is what matters at this stage. With the Persepolis challenge laying ahead, coach Juan Ferrando will surely keep a check on the attacking options.
Cautious on the Flanks –
An observation which stood out was that the Goan wingbacks propelled themselves in quite a progressive position which enabled the opposition to find empty pockets down the pitch. The pacy wingers could easily penetrate and curve the ball in on numerous occasions which resulted to be a huge threat. Most of the attacks bombarded on the Goan defense, be it in the Al Rayyan game or the one against Al Wahda, were from the wings. Sanson Pereira, Saviour Gama and Seriton Fernandes have to be mindful when it comes to defending at the flanks.
The Midfield Prowess –
FC Goa’ midfielders tested their mettle against the best in Asia and quite remarkably they’ve been punching above their weight. Edu Bedia on a more holding pivotal position enables Glan Martins and Brandon Fernandes to press up the pitch.
Quick feet, short passing, high press summarizes the intent, as the Gaurs are all set to face yet another stern challenge. We’ve seen the highest chances created through such spontaneous passing which is inculcated through all the levels at FC Goa, and will it lead to any fruition, well hopefully yes, very soon!