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FC Goa draw against Qatar's Al-Rayyan SC in AFC Champions League debut

FC Goa draw against Qatar's Al-Rayyan SC in AFC Champions League debut

14th April, Wednesday night will always be a special one for every Indian football fans. India officially announced its entry into the Asia's top-tier competition as FC Goa fought bravely to draw against Qatar's one of the best Al-Rayyan SC in the AFC Champions League.

Heroic Performance from FC Goa, Draws against Qatar's Al-Rayyan SC

It was a night that the 1998 World Cup-winning French defender Laurent Blanc, Al-Rayyan's head coach would want to forget as his team being the superior, failed to pick up all 3 points.

Everyone expected Al-Rayyan to dominate FC Goa, but it was the Goan team that shocked all of them. Juan Ferrando's men were proved to be too tough to get past, as players like Yacine Brahimi and Yohan Boli had no answer to FC Goa's defensive stability which was being led by Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie.

While in midfield, it was the ever-present FC Goa's captain Edu Bedia who caught eyes, but it's Goa's January signing Glan Martins who was here, there, everywhere around the pitch snatching balls of Al-Rayyan players and also played a crucial role in building from the back with captain Edu Bedia.

Juan Ferrando's men finished Indian Super League 2020-2021 campaign on a 15 match winning streak, obviously, the penalty shootout loss to Mumbai City FC in the Semi-Final is not counted. While Al Rayyan finished 3rd in the Qatar Stars League, Qatar's domestic league.

Al-Rayyan arrived into the match being the superior team and was expected to beat FC Goa easily. Al-Rayyan started off well as they kept pressuring Goa's goal, but after the first 15 minutes of the first half, FC Goa dominated the first half creating several chances.

2nd half was more about defending as Goa wanted to get at least one point from this match after their hard work in the first half. And it was Spaniard Ivan Gonzalez who was like a wall, proving tough to break for the stars like Yacine Brahimi, who has experience of playing in UEFA Champions League.

And if not for a referee's mistake, FC Goa could have got all three points from the match. There was a period during the 2nd half that the ball struck on one of the Al-Rayyan defender's hand but the referee didn't award the penalty to the Indian side.

While talking about ball possession, both teams kept almost the same amount of ball possession in both the halves, Al-Rayyan had little more than Goa though. But who cares as long as you walk out with a respectable scoreline.

And at full-time, while there were delight and excitement at one end of the pitch, at the other end of it, Al-Rayyan's head coach and players were disappointed and frustrated with their performance.

After this match, FC Goa created history as they became the first Indian team to score a point in the group stages of the AFC Champions League.

FC Goa's next match will be up against Al-Wahda of UAE on 17th April, Saturday, at 8 P.M Indian Standard Time. Al-Rayyan's next match will be up against Persepolis FC the very same day at 10:30 P.M Indian Standard Time.

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