The Gaurs narrowly missed out on their first win in the continental competition.

FC Goa secured another hard-fought point against Al Rayyan in their fifth AFC Champions League Group E fixture. The Indian Super League outfit narrowly missed out on becoming the first-ever Indian club to record a victory in the premier club competition of Asia, after the match ended by a 1-1 scoreline. Jorge Ortiz scored the opener for the side, but Ali Ferydoon equalized in the 89th minute, to break Goa’s hearts.

The Indian outfit almost edged a stronger opposition in Al Rayyan, coached by legendary French manager Laurent Blanc. Jorge Ortiz scored the goal for the Gaurs in as early as the third minute of the game, latching on to a sensational overhead through-ball from Brandon Fernandes. This was FCG’s second goal in the tournament, after Edu Bedia had scored against Persepolis on Matchday 3. 

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The Gaurs reverted to their stronger starting lineup, same as the one used in the first two goalless draws against Al Rayyan and Al Wahda. The players looked a strong unit once again, showing brilliant defensive capabilities. The early goal shocked the Qatari club, who looked rattled for the remainder of the first half.

The reverse fixture saw both sides play a goalless draw. That itself was a huge achievement for FC Goa and Indian football in general. The second clash between the two sides reflected the hard work put in by the ISL outfit. Ferrando’s faith in the young Indian players paid off, as they stepped up on the big occasion. However, a moment of weakness from the impressive Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem gave Al Rayyan the opportunity to score at the end.

Juan Ferrando’s men created history earlier when they became the first Indian club to participate in the group stages of the tournament. However, they could not go a step further by becoming the first to win a game. This is their third draw from five games in the group stage.

Although FC Goa are officially eliminated from the ACL after seeing Al Wahda defeat Persepolis. But, they have certainly left a mark on the Asian stage with their gritty performances. These results are significant for the stakeholders of Indian football and the country in general which is weathering the worst effects of the pandemic.

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