Friday marked the Gaurs’ second consecutive defeat in four days against the Iranian giants.
It was a night to forget for FC Goa, as they were pushed down with force by Persepolis in the AFC Champions League. Four unanswered goals were enough to seal the deal for the Iranian side, who capitalized on the lack of experience within the new-look Gaurs’ side to maintain their winning record.
FC Goa head coach made several changes to the side which was defeated by Persepolis in their previous game four days ago. However, debutant Naveen Kumar’s performance forced the Gaurs to concede on several occasions. The absence of ace midfielder Edu Bedia only added to their downfall.
Here’s how the Gaurs performed on Friday night.
Naveen Kumar – 3.5
Having to fill in Dheeraj’s shoes, Naveen succumbed to the pressure. A routine stop turned into the opener, while a big error in judgement while collecting a cross led to another opening for Persepolis with a penalty. He made two saves in the second half, but the damage had already been done.
James Donachie – 5.0
Without a proper outlet in midfield, Donachie looked very shaky on the ball. The defender lost possession 13 times and his on the ball performance translated without it as well, winning none of the ground duels while only winning one of three aerial battles. However, he made two important clearances and was heavily involved in playing out from the back in the latter stages of the match.
Ivan Gonzalez – 5.0
Despite the scoreline, the Spaniard had a decent game. He made four crucial tackles to stop the Iranian team’s attacks while winning 80% of the ground duels. Could have done better to prevent the third goal, letting Issa Alekasir through a bit easily.
Was taken off due to an injury in the second half. Gonzalez made four important tackles as well as one crucial interception.
Leander D’Cunha – 4.5
Leander seemed overwhelmed in his first continental appearance. The defender was the victim of Persepolis’ pressure on numerous occasions, losing possession 13 times. He failed to make his 57 touches count and was carded for a powerful tackle from behind.
Sanson Pereira – 4.5
The youngster had an unusually difficult time. He had to deal with the highly energetic Omid Alishah throughout the game. The full-back wasn’t able to venture forward and make an imprint in the opposition half, losing possession 10 times while trying to play out from the back. He made three crucial clearances as well as a single tackle.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam – 5.0
The India international looked good in patches. He had an impressive 94% passing accuracy, but in a game that relied on his defensive prowess he came up short, losing possession thrice. It was his pocket that was robbed which resulted in the opener for Persepolis. Amarjit also failed to register any interceptions.
Princeton Rebello – 5.5
Despite the quality of opposition, Princeton seemed to be unfazed. Although impact wise, he was till found wanting, but was crucial in absorbing pressure while playing out from the back.
Alexander Romario Jesuraj – 5.0
Unlike the first two matches which he started, Jesuraj failed to make any impact on this game. He was silently involved in tracking back and aiding the press, but other than a tame shot off target in the first half he failed to make any impression.
Redeem Tlang – 5.0
Redeem’s pace was a clear advantage for FC Goa against Persepolis, but they only managed to utilize it sporadically. He was very active in tracking back and helping with the defensive duties, but failed to make any impact on the offensive end. His ball retention is a cause for concern, having lost possession seven times.
Ishan Pandita – 4.5
Another difficult night for the 20-year-old. Ishan looked bright in the opening stages with his desire to be involved in the build-up, but he fizzled out as the game progressed. His lack of touches in the final third will be a concern for Ferrando.
Devendra Murgaonkar – 4.5
The forward had a story similar to most players. He looked promising in patches, but failed to produce the final product. Similar to Redeem, his pace looked like the key to open up the Iranian team’s defence, but the Gaurs failed to capitalize on the advantage. He looked a bit weary on the press, always a step too late.
Mohamed Ali – 3.5
Had a horrendous debut in the AFC Champions League. Coming on for Gonzalez, Ali’s lack of awareness allowed Persepolis to score the fourth goal. He looked highly unstable at times, but grew into the game.
Jorge Ortiz – 5.0
Ortiz made a big impact after coming on. His presence alongside Glan, Brandon and Princeton stabilized the midfield and allowed the Gaurs to utilize more possession. He registered two shots on goal as well.
Glan Martins – 5.0
Bought much-needed anchoring to the midfield. His defensive presence released Brandon and Princeton, allowing them to control the pace more freely.
Makan Winkle Chothe – N/A
Looked active since coming on. His energy was contagious, but he failed to make any solid impact to influence the scoreline
Brandon Fernandes – N/A
Combined well with Princeton and Ortiz to control the midfield since coming on. However, he failed to make the influence count.