The Gaurs held the UAE-based team to a goalless draw on Saturday night.
It was another gruelling affair for FC Goa, as UAE side Al Wahda were left frustrated by an impressive defensive display from Juan Ferrando’s men. The goalless affair was a product of great discipline by the Indian side, but it was not without chances for both teams. Dheeraj Singh rose to the occasion once again with a superb display between the sticks. Meanwhile, Devendra Murgaonkar tested the Al Wahda goalkeeper in the second half.
Dheeraj Singh – 8.5
The clear Man of the Match for the Gaurs. Dheeraj single-handedly kept Goa afloat with crucial saves from point-blank shots. What was more impressive than his saves were his punches from testing crosses. This was an area he struggled at in the Indian Super League (ISL). Juan Ferrando’s decision to field him has been validated in the last two games.
James Donachie – 7.5
The Aussie was an unstoppable force at the back, making eight key clearances to deny the Al Wahda attack any clear opportunities. His aerial prowess from long balls was a key factor in stifling the UAE side. He also made three key tackles in the defensive third for the Gaurs.
Ivan Gonzalez – 7.0
Three tackles and three key interceptions to go with seven clearances for the Spaniard. The center-back was also influential in dealing with the incessant crosses from the wings, being the first to react at most times.
His solidity has been a vital positive for FC Goa and their head coach Ferrando. The yellow card was avoidable as it puts him under threat of suspension.
Seriton Fernandes – 7.0
Seriton continued from where he left off in the previous game, putting in an efficient display defensively to prevent any real threats to the Guars’ goal.
His key moment came late in the second half when he was on his feet to block a shot after Dheeraj’s save rebounded to Lee Myung-joo. He did seem outmatched at times in the air, conceding close headers to Tim Matavz and Omar Khirbin.
Sanson Pereira – 6.5
Solid outing from the youngster considering he was pitted against UAE international Khaled Ibrahim. His two tackles and two interceptions were key in shutting down the Al Wahda attack, even restricting Ibrahim to a mere 33% dribbling accuracy while he was on the pitch.
Edu Bedia – 7.0
On the offensive front, his long passes was one of the key methods by which Goa infiltrated Al-Wahda’s defensive third. Defensively, he, along with Martins were crucial in dealing with Ismail Matar. A solid captain’s effort from the Spaniard.
Glan Martins – 7.0
The engine from Goa acted as a brilliant support system for the more creative Edu Bedia. He had an impressive 87% passing accuracy as well as three tackles and three interceptions. He still needs to polish his skills while playing out from the back, nearly costing a goal early in the second half due to a mistake.
Alexander Jesuraj – 6.0
It was maximum effort from the Indian winger during his stint on the pitch. Was involved in Goa’s first real chance of the game and put in solid work while pressing the opposition. Unfortunately, picked up his second yellow card in two games.
Brandon Fernandes – 6.5
Brandon was more visible tonight compared to the first game. He hit the post after the ball strayed into his path in the box from an Jorge Ortiz cross. Then his cross was touched towards goal by Devendra only for Mohamed Al Shamsi to palm it away. He was very much involved in the press as well, foiling any forays from the opposing midfielders.
Jorge Ortiz – 6.5
There were key decisions that the Spaniard could have made differently, but other than that it was a well-rounded game from the former Atletico Madrid ‘B’ player.
He was involved in all the key chances for FC Goa and was the main receiver of the outlet balls from Bedia. His runs in behind the opposition defence did pose a few problems. He came out of his shell after the introduction of Devendra, which gave him a more agile and pacy target to aim for.
Ishan Pandita – 5.5
A very shaky start for the youngster yet again. The 22-year-old looked isolated at times and during certain moments looked outpaced as well. He looked unable to match the physicality of the UAE team’s defenders and was replaced early in the second half by Muragonkar.
Saviour Gama – 6.0
Despite his pace, his lack of physical presence has hampered his progress from the ISL to the ACL. He looked outmatched against Khaled Ibrahim, allowing the UAE international to slip in dangerous crosses.
Devendra Murgaonkar – 7.0
The main catalyst behind the Gaurs’ better second half. His pace produced several openings for the Gaurs which they failed to capitalize on. He proved to be a handful for both Lucas Pimenta and Fares Juma with his overwhelming pace. He nearly gave the Gaurs the lead when he got on the end of a Brandon cross only for Al Shamsi to palm it away.
Adil Khan – NA
Solid first ACL outing, but failed to make any contributions to deserve a rating.