Juan Ferrando’s side their debut AFC Champions League campaign without a win, as they were beaten by Al Wahda in their final group game. Despite the loss, the Gaurs finished third in their group, as Al Rayyan lost to Persepolis in the other group game.
FC Goa were handed a massive blow ahead of their final AFC Champions League group stage game against Al Wahda. The Indian Super League side had to bid farewell to its foreign contingent – including captain Edu Bedia and head coach Ferrando – due to regulations around the Covid-19 situation. As such, they fielded an all-Indian side when they faced Al Wahda on April 29.
The ISL side managed to repel their opponents for two-thirds of the match. However, Omar Khribin broke Goa’s resolve just after the hour mark, as he put his side 1-0 up on the night. The Qatari outfit was by far the dominant side of the night. They enjoyed the majority of possession and had as many as 25 shots on the opposition goal. However, they only managed to find the net twice. Their second goal came in the final minute of the match when Mohammed Barqesh scored off a Khribin assist.
Assistant coach Clifford Miranda took charge of the team on the night. He was full of praise for both the players and Ferrando, as Goa finished their ACL campaign with a defeat.
“When the draw was announced, who must have thought that FC Goa will finish third in the group and have three points. Nobody gave us a chance playing against last season’s runners-up Persepolis, Al Rayyan and Al Wahda,”he said.
“But credit to the boys for doing such a fantastic job with so many difficulties. We have been in the bubble for the past seven months. It is a fantastic performance by the players and the credit must go to Juan (Ferrando) as well as the club for making this step in the premier tournament in Asia.”
Despite the loss, Goa managed to finish their debut ACL season by securing the third spot in their group. The Gaurs drew three of their six matches but were beaten in the remaining three. Laurent Blanc’s Al Rayyan finished fourth, one point behind Goa.