The FC Goa custodian kept two clean-sheets in the group stages.

Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has become the first-ever Indian footballer to be named in the AFC Champions League Team of the Tournament. The young goalkeeper excelled for FC Goa in the 2021 ACL group stages and has been rewarded for his heroics.

Dheeraj made five appearances in the competition for Goa earlier this year, excelling between the posts. He conceded just four goals and kept two clean-sheets, including one against UAE giants Al-Wahda. He also made a key penalty save in the 2-1 loss to Persepolis in the third group game.

The 21-year-old maintained impressive consistency with his work between the posts for the Gaurs. He made 26 saves in the five matches with an impressive 86.2% save percentage. No Indian footballer, before Dheeraj, has ever made it to an AFC Champions League Team of the Tournament. The young custodian has now created history and added another feather to his already illustrious hat.

AFC Champions League
With 26 saves and a 7.8 score, Dheeraj is also among the top seven players in the ACL this season

The 2021 AFC Champions League winners, Al-Hilal, surprisingly only have one representative in this team. Right-back Mohammed Al-Burayk is their sole player with four assists to his name. He also created 10 chances in as many appearances. The Saudi Arabian international also made 25 interceptions and 10 tackles, helping his side win a record fourth ACL title.

Cerezo Osaka defender Tiago and Istiklol centre-back Oleksiy Larin partner him at the back in this team, while Ulsan Hyundai’s Hong Chul occupies the left-back spot. J1 League side Kawasaki Frontale had the most representations with three players. Kento Tachibanada (four goals), Yasuto Wakizaka (2 goals, 4 assists) and Leandro Damiao, who scored six goals are the three players. Tachibanada and Wakizaka slot in as the central midfielders, while Damiao is one of the two strikers in the team.

ACL Team of the Tournament
Dheeraj was named as the goalkeeper in the ACL Team of the Tournament

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors star Modou Barrow also makes the team as a right midfielder after scoring six goals in the tournament.  Daegu FC forward Cesinha is the left-sided midfielder. The Brazilian scored five times and assisted three goals. ACL top scorer Michael Olunga, who scored nine goals for Al-Duhail, spearheads the frontline.

Dheeraj Singh will definitely gain confidence from this prestigious honour and want to kick on in the season with FC Goa, who started the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 with a poor 0-3 loss to Mumbai City.

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