FC Goa are out of the AFC Champions League 2021 group stage with one game left to play…
FC Goa conceded a late goal to share the spoils in their fifth Group E game against Al Rayyan in the AFC Champions League on Monday.
Jorge Ortiz broke the deadlock in the third minute and Goa stood firm against the Al Rayyan attack right till the end. With just minutes remaining for the final whistle, Ali Ferydoon equalised for the Qatar Stars League team.
The Gaurs had begun their campaign in the ACL with a goalless draw against the Qatari side. The Indian Super League (ISL) outfit had fought valiantly against Laurent Blanc’s side and picked up a point in that game but will consider Monday’s fixture a lost opportunity to pick up their first ACL win.
Juan Ferrando’s team was out of the race to qualify from the group stage even before a ball had been kicked after Al Wahda beat Persepolis in the early kick-off on Monday.
What did Juan Ferrando say?
Juan Ferrando admitted that it is difficult to accept a late goal after his team led for most of the game. He said, “It is difficult when you lose (concede) at the last minute. But we played against a very good team, it is a pleasure to play against these teams because these teams play very good football.”
Ferrando said that he felt a win could act as a morale-booster for the fans in India who are struggling due to the ongoing pandemic.
“It was a very important game for us today. It is a very difficult period in India so I was thinking, if we win, it would be very good for the people.
“The players did a great job, but of course, we need to improve. We have one more chance, in the next game against Al Wahda. It is difficult to prepare for these games due to injuries. The fitness coaches are working very hard, this is the truth.”
The Spaniard is looking forward to analysing his team’s display before they take on Al Wahda in their final match of the ACL 2021.
“The action for the goal was in transition, it was a foul and then in this transition, it is difficult. When you change from attack to defence, the team is not ready. This is the difference between teams from India and then a team like Al Rayyan. I know my players, it is a terrible moment for the players. We will learn, of course, one time (mistake) it is okay, two times (repeating mistakes) it is not.