FC Goa’s morale has been reduced to two consecutive defeats but they can still remain hopeful in the AFC Football Champions League (SL) and will have to beat Qatar’s Al Rayan in a reverse match here on Monday. Both teams played 0–0 in their Group E match, although Qatar’s team dominated the entire match. FC Goa, the league stage winner of the Indian Super League 2019-20, will now look to register their first win in the ACL, which started with two goalless draws, one against the UAE’s Al Wahda team.
Al Rayan has one point from four matches and has been knocked out of the knockout race by three defeats while FC Goa has two points from four matches and still remain in the Round 16 race. Juan Ferrando’s Indian team lost 1-2 and 0-4 to Persepolis FC of Iran in the previous leg.
FC Goa’s physical, technical and tactical deficiencies were revealed in the previous match against the Iranian club, although Ferrando had rested some players of the starting XI to play in the last two group matches.
Goalkeeper Naveen Kumar made two big mistakes which led to two goals and he certainly will not play in Monday’s match, replacing Moirangthem Dheeraj Singh, who had a great performance. However, a few days ago, his great-grandfather passed away, who had come to Covid-19 positive.
FC Goa will also be strengthened by the return of captain Edu Bedia who scored a historic first goal in the ACL against Persepolis. Juan Ferrando said, “Our players got injured in the 20 days and also have the problem of fatigue but it is important to strategize and do our best in the next two matches.” Earlier Ferrando also said playing in AFC is once in a lifetime opportunity.
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