FC Goa suffered their second consecutive loss in the AFC Champions League when they faced Persepolis once again after a two-day gap. Juan Ferrando went into the game with as many as 8 changes to the team, as the second-string FC Goa had a difficult outing against the Red Army.
Here is what the coach had to say in the post-match press conference regarding the match-
“Was a very difficult match, obviously because first of all, they were a very good team. Second, because a lot of players in our squad, in the last two weeks, were exhausted. It is difficult when you have two days to prepare for a game and the squad is short. But this is not an excuse, we also made mistakes in our game yesterday, in our crosses, in our transition. In the end, the score is normal because Persepolis is 4 or 5 steps ahead of Goa. I am disappointed but you see our players are working hard and giving their 100%.“
FC Goa played their 4th match in the last 8 days and fatigue soon crept into the small squad. Explaining his decision to make 8 changes to the team, Ferrando said, “It’s because, Seriton, for example, he can’t train. He is very very tired and out of the squad. James and Ivan were in the first XI. Sanson is in a low battery as well. Glan was exhausted. Brandon, in the last two games, everybody saw how he was fighting a lot. Romario in the last game was out for getting 2 yellows and so he was back today. Ortiz was also exhausted. But I repeat, this is the squad and I am happy because they always try to work hard but it’s not possible in training sessions to train the team because they have to recover. Today you see, when you are tired and exhausted and then you receive the second goal against Persepolis, it’s difficult for the players. Now we are thinking about Al Rayyan next.“
FC Goa currently sits No.3 in Group E behind Al Wahda and Persepolis after two back-to-back defeats against the latter.
“Surely this score is not good for our psychology. When you are defeated 4-0 and then your next games are against two very good teams and given the physical conditions, it’s difficult for you. But well, we do not have 2-3 days to think about the next game. Today is the recovery day, 25th is the next day and the 26th is matchday. But it’s the same with the other teams as well. This is the reality of the Champions League,” Juan Ferrando told when asked how this defeat against Persepolis affects his team mentally.
Talking about the positives from the game, “The positives from today was no injuries. But in the end, we have more injuries(laughs). The most important thing for me in today’s game was to have no injuries. Two players had problems, we will see tomorrow after the scan, it’s difficult.“
FC Goa will face Al Rayyan next on 26th April followed by Al Wahda on 29th April.