AFC Champions League 2021: Optimistic FC Goa face acid check in opposition to group leaders Persepolis FC
Persepolis FC had been the runners-up in AFC Champions League the final season.
Emboldened by two extremely encouraging ends in a span of 4 days, FC Goa will likely be up for the problem when it runs into table-topper and final season’s runner-up Persepolis FC within the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The primary Indian outfit to play within the continent’s top-tier membership competitors, FC Goa surpassed expectations when it held AL-Rayyan and Al Wahda to goalless attracts in its first two outings of the distinguished league.
Iranian champion Persepolis FC will likely be a distinct ball sport altogether however judging by its spirited performances within the final one week, the Indian membership does not appear to be a crew that can get intimated by popularity.
FC Goa will definitely enter the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with the idea that it may well go for not simply one other stalemate but additionally a win, whatever the opponents’ strengths and previous data.
Head coach Juan Ferrando was stuffed with reward for goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh whose heroics in opposition to United Arab Emirates’ Al Wahda earned FC Goa a 0-0 stalemate in its final Group E match.
The 20-year-old, who guarded the Indian citadel in the course of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, stole the present with a string of superb saves which compelled Ferrando into giving his goalkeeper the moniker ‘Superman’.
Certainly one of Goa’s most influential gamers to this point within the elite match, Dheeraj has made a complete of 9 saves after two matches performed and 6 of these got here in opposition to Al Wahda.
“I really feel like he’s the very best goalkeeper on matchday two,” stated Ferrando after his facet held Al Wahda.
“Dheeraj’s saves had been superb. One factor for positive is that he wants to enhance on his passing sport as a result of we all know our model is to construct up.” Ferrando stated Dheeraj, who moved to Goa FC in January this yr, is “extraordinarily hardworking” and exhausting work is among the few issues Goa will want in abundance in opposition to a top quality opposition like Persepolis FC.
Whereas they’ve been distinctive in defence, FC Goa’s power lies within the strategy adopted by coach Ferrando, together with sustaining ball possession and overlaying floor.
At the moment second within the group behind Persepolis which has gained each its video games in opposition to Al Wahda (1-0) and Al-Rayyan (3-1), Goa is aware of it should face its final check in opposition to the Iranian champion.
The 2019 runner-up defeated UAE’s Al Wahda 1-0 on Wednesday. Judging by its present type, Yahya Golmohammadi’s crew has actually put behind final season’s last defeat in opposition to Korea Republic’s Ulsan Hyundai FC.
Persepolis has not misplaced in its final 5 matches in all competitions, with its solely blemish being a 1-1 draw in opposition to Shahr Khodro within the Iran Professional League in April.
Seyed Jalal Hosseini has been a rock for Persepolis, with the veteran defender scoring a uncommon aim within the win over Al Wahda and the Iranian large would undoubtedly wish to assume that it has its nostril forward in opposition to FC Goa.
Least shocked by his crew’s performances within the first two matches, FC Goa coach Ferrando hopes his wards can produce one thing comparable in opposition to the group chief.
“It is not shocking as a result of I do know my squad needs to enhance day-after-day. It is a pleasure for me to work with this teaching employees, these gamers.
“We have now to manage our feelings. It’s a necessity to repeat some particulars and alter the plan for Persepolis. We have now to proceed in the identical approach as a result of it is a very troublesome competitors,” Ferrando stated.
Solely the group winners are assured of advancing to the subsequent stage of the league.
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