AFC Champions League 2021: FC Goa will take immense satisfaction and perception from Al Rayyan draw regardless of robust highway forward
Coach Juan Ferrando had the unenviable activity of dropping two of Goa’s six international gamers in accordance with the AFC Champions League guidelines and it was prime scorer Igor Angulo and main help maker Alberto Noguera who confronted the axe a lot to the shock of many.
As Ivan Gonzalez accomplished a slide sort out on Moufak Ahmed within the 84th minute, he punched the air with a way of accomplishment as if he had scored a objective. If there was one single second that encapsulated FC Goa on their AFC Champions League debut, it was this one as they drew 0-0 with Qatari membership Al Rayyan on a historic evening for Indian soccer. Between transmission blackouts which disadvantaged Indian soccer followers of some minutes of the motion right here and there, the Indian Tremendous League facet greater than held their very own towards their extra fancied opponents to realize some extent of their Group E encounter on the Fatorda stadium in Goa.
Coach Juan Ferrando had the unenviable activity of dropping two of Goa’s six international gamers in accordance with the AFC Champions League guidelines and it was prime scorer Igor Angulo and main help maker Alberto Noguera who confronted the axe a lot to the shock of many. Understandably, bolstering the defence was precedence and based mostly on this efficiency, the Spaniard’s choice appears vindicated.
Goa began with what resembled a 4-1-4-1 formation on paper, however their low block and congestion of central areas meant lone striker Ishan Pandita was the one participant within the opposition half for many of the recreation. Their extra illustrious opponents, coached by France legend Laurent Blanc, formed up in a 4-2-3-1 with Algerian worldwide and former FC Porto participant Yacine Brahimi enjoying on the left wing.
After a nervy opening jiffy the place possession was needlessly given away whereas enjoying out from the again, Goa took management of the midfield with Glan Martins hustling, harrying and breaking apart the Al Rayyan assaults. His infectious vitality, mixed with the coach’s game-plan helped the Indian facet push their opponents to the flanks, not permitting them time on the ball and crowding the central areas to keep away from getting minimize open by by means of balls. Gonzalez, one of many 5 international gamers picked, showcased his skill to dribble out of the Al Rayyan press, getting his staff out of sticky conditions time and time once more. His ball-playing talents complement his defensive companion James Donachie who is understood to be extra sturdy within the problem.
Al Rayyan saved probing with out threatening Dheeraj Singh between the Goa goalposts as the ultimate balls had been missing on a lot of events. The one time Naif Al-Hadhrami was by means of, the younger keeper smothered the ball earlier than a clear try at objective was doable. Goa matched their opponents possession-wise all through the primary half, and even managed to get a shot on course by means of Alex Romario which was put behind for a nook. Centre ahead Pandita showcased the defensive facet of his recreation, grafting and urgent the Al Rayyan defenders whereas Jorge Ortiz, enjoying huge on the left, was the go-to man if his staff wanted an out ball and a person to hold it ahead.
Because the second half wore on, the Qatari facet had way more of the ball and created a lot of good alternatives, Ivorian striker Yohan Boli coming shut with a header which was saved by Dheeraj. Coming into the sport, the Gaurs had nothing to lose however as the sport drew to a detailed, the sense that one thing might be truly be gained from this encounter, began dawning upon them. However with that got here the nerves and the expertise of gamers like skipper Edu Bedia was wanted to sluggish the sport down and win skilled fouls wherever vital simply to have a breather.
Goa didn’t let the event get to them and stayed true to their philosophy when many others would have resorted to punting the ball up the sector at each given alternative. Enjoying out from the again isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and it takes braveness, technical skill and an excellent sense of your environment to efficiently implement it. That is the place coach Ferrando appears to have succeeded as majority of the squad, Indian gamers included, are extraordinarily snug on the ball and don’t thoughts passing it out even when confronted by a press.
The likes of Brandon Fernandes and Glan Martins shone alongside Edu, profitable the midfield battle towards extra skilled opponents. Brandon’s technical skill appears to be one of many causes Ferrando determined towards choosing Noguera, with the Goan lad finishing greater than 90 p.c of his passes. Martins, one other native boy, gave the impression to be in every single place along with his curly mop of hair flying as he harried the Al Rayyan gamers into errors and was absolutely the decide of the bunch for a man-of-the-match award.
Subsequent up for Goa will probably be Al Wahda of the UAE, who will probably be smarting after a 0-1 defeat towards Iranian facet Persepolis. It’ll get tough with each recreation however the Gaurs will take immense satisfaction and perception from this efficiency to ensure they depart an imprint on their maiden foray on the continental stage.
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