The Gaurs made their ACL debut memorable on Wednesday, with a draw against Qatari side Al-Rayyan SC.

Al Wahda FCFC Goa

0-0

FC Goa maintains their superb start to their AFC Champions League campaign and will be proud to see the stark improvements in their performance from the last game. Unlike the last game, they had plenty of scoring chances and really threatened the visitors with their attacking work in the second half. Brandon hit the bar, Devendra was denied by a clutch save and some impressive defending denied the Gaurs a goal. Goa were themselves a solid rock defensively, with James Donachie & Ivan Gonzalez again putting in heroic efforts, while Dheeraj Singh came up huge in multiple occasions with his brilliant saves. Goa will be a bit frustrated not to get goals from this one, but one point is better than none! The Gaurs are now second in their group in the ACL and will hope Persepolis defeats Al-Rayyan to maintain their spot in the group before the big game against the Iran-giants. For now, this is Uttiyo Sarkar signing out for Khel Now. We’ll be back with actions for the next game as well. Till then, Goodbye and Good Night, Ladies & Gentlemen!

90+4′ BIG SAVE FROM DHEERAJ! Goa poorly give away the ball on the left, allowing Ibrahim to send in a cross that is met with a fantastic header from Khrbin, but Dheeraj reacts superbly to parry it away for a corner. The visitors try their best to send in crosses into the box again but are repeatedly denied, with Goa getting another point from a formidable opposition!

90+3′ Al Wahda are piling everyone forward in the look for a late winner but Goa are in no mood to give them the pleasure, making key clearances to thwart all their chances.

90+1′ Four minutes of added time is announced! Edu Bedia is also announced as the Man of the Match for his impressive display from midfield.

90′ CHANCE! The visitors create a good chance after some impressive link-up play and Matar plays in Khrbin to take a shot that is parried away with a brilliant save from Dheeraj and Seriton makes a terrific tackle to deny a goal from the rebound.

88′ Martins is at the heart of some more pain as he endures a nasty challenge from Alharbi. Both of them look distressed after the incident, but it’s Alharbi who is booked for his poor tackle.

86′ Fortunately, Glan is back on his feet and looks okay after that clash. He’s ready to finish the game for the Gaurs.

85′ Martins is on the ground in pain after being involved in a nasty clash in the middle. Goa will hope that it’s nothing serious, because he’s been excellent again today.

83′ FC Goa makes another substitution as Adil Khan makes his ACL debut, replacing Sanson Pereira.

81′ Al Wahda gives the ball away for Ortiz to run through on a counter-attack and the Spaniard decides to cut back into the middle and take a shot which is easily saved.

79′ Goa break through in numbers on a counter-attack after Brandon sends Murgaokar through, with the striker sending in a low cross to the middle which is deflected wide before a teammate could tap it in. Glan Martins takes a shot from outside that is deflected wide.

78′ Dheeraj Saves! Matar gets a free-kick from around 25 yards out and he whips in a powerful freekick which is parried away with a strong save from the youngster.

76′ Al Wahda are still dominating the possession (56%) but it’s Goa who have received the better of the chances so far this half. The visitors are still trying to break the deadlock and trying to use all their energy to get the winner.

73′ CHANCE! Ortiz sends Brandon through on the right wing and the midfielder finds Murgaokar inside the box, with the striker getting in a touch but being denied by a fantastic save from Mohamed Alshamsi.

72′ After Gama’s introduction, Ortiz has been moved to the right wing where he isn’t as influential as before.

69′ Chance! Edu Bedia sends Murgaokar through on goal with a brilliant through ball and the striker gets into the box, but isn’t quick enough to get a shot off so he tries picking out a teammate with a pass – only for nobody to get in a shot from close. Frustrating!

66′ Goa are restricting the visitors from shots from afar as Khrbin takes a swipe from outside the box which flies over the post.

65′ Ortiz does brilliantly to steal the ball away inside Al Wahda’s box and passes the ball to Brandon, who tries to send Murgaokar through with a sliced pass but his fellow attacker couldn’t read the move at all – giving the ball away to the visitors. Meanwhile, Jesuraj goes off for Saviour Gama.

63′ Matavz does brilliantly to skip past multiple Goan defenders before romping into the final third, where he makes a clever pass to Omar Khrbin, but a clutch tackle from Seriton Fernandes stops him from scoring!

62′ Glan Martins almost causes disaster by giving away possession inside his own box but is lucky that the Al Wahda player isn’t able to get a shot off from close distance!

61′ The referee is not shying away from the cards! Alkarbi and Alexander Jesuraj are both booked for sloppy fouls in the matter of a few seconds.

60′ CHANCE! Ibrahim does well to keep the ball from going for a throw and easily goes past Sanson before floating in a cross that meets Matavz’s header but his attempt goes straight to Dheeraj’s hands.

59′ Matar whips in another strong corner which meets the header of Pimenta, but his effort isn’t hit well enough and goes wide.

58′ Matar again causes trouble with a clever run and receives the ball inside the box, but Gonzalez hits a perfect tackle to stop him from scoring. Al Wahda demands a penalty but the referee isn’t having that!

56′ Ivan Gonzalez is booked for a reckless challenge to stop Ibrahim from mounting forward in a counter-attack.

54′ OFF THE BAR!! What a chance for Goa! A clever throw in helps substitute Devendra Murgaokar play the ball to Ortiz, who spots Brandon inside the area and passes it to him – but Fernandes powerful shot hits the bar and goes out! Goa’s biggest chance of the game!

54′ Goa make the first substitution of the game as Devendra Murgaokar comes on for Ishan Pandita – who failed to make any impact as the centre-forward.

53′ Ortiz has really come alive in this half and is trying to get a hold of the ball all the time to force the issue for Goa and trouble the Al Wadha defenders.

51′ Al Wahda have maintained their motto of playing through the right wing and Abdulla Alkarbi makes a rare forward run, only to end up fouling Sanson in the process and giving Goa a freekick.

48′ Ortiz is sent through on goal from the left wing and manages to get into a promising position, but he ends up trying too much and loses the ball to Lucas Pimenta inside the box.

46′ The second half kicks off! Goa will be the ones attacking from the right to left in this half.

HALF-TIME ANALYSIS: Another solid half from Goa – who have retained their strong defensive work from the last game to frustrate the UAE side. Al Wahda have dominated 57% of the possession but have not really created a huge chance. Dheeraj has pulled off some impressive saves to keep the scoreline level while Goa’s two centre-backs have again been indomitable to frustrate the visitors. Juan Ferrando will want his side to be more ruthless on the counter-attacks because Al Wahda look vulnerable on the swift break. The visitors will come out with an all-guns-blazing attacking approach in the second half, so the Gaurs have to bring their very best to get another positive result from this. We’ll be back with second-half action soon. Stay tuned folks!

45+4′ The visitors have been frustrated by Goa’s solid defensive work in the half and go into the break thinking about how to break them open. Juan Ferrando’s men have been solid but have to improve their attacking work to get something big out from this game.

45+3′ Al Wahda again threaten through the right and Lee Myong-Joo whips in a clever pass into the middle to a teammate whose shot is blocked inches away from the goal-line by Donachie to keep the score level.

45′ Four minutes of added time is announced. Can Goa hold onto this scoreline before half-time?

43′ Another save from Dheeraj! The ball is swiftly played to Matavz again outside the penalty area and his drilled low shot is expertly held onto by the Goa goalkeeper – who goes down quickly to keep the game at 0-0!

41′ Big save from Dheeraj! Al Wahda takes another quick free-kick which allows Matavz to take a shot on goal that is parried out by a diving Dheeraj. It was judged offside anyway so wouldn’t have counted.

40′ Sanson Pereira is down on the ground holding his ankle in pain. It seemed like an opposition player stepped on his foot with his studs causing the left-back to go down.

39′ Matar gets the ball inside the box and tries to get a shot off, before Gonzalez comes up with a clutch tackle to clear possession. The Al Wahda softly goes down looking for a penalty, which is denied and leaves the Spaniard fuming.

38′ Chance! Al Wahda surprise Goa with another quick free-kick which allows Ibrahim to go through inside the box, but his attempted cut-back pass to outwit Dheeraj is cleared well to deny the visitors a goal.

35′ The visitors are trying their best to get Matar in possession but the 38-year-old Al Wahda captain has been forced to withdraw into a deeper role to get hold of the ball – which means he can’t create as freely as he’d from an advanced role.

33′ In terms of possession, it’s bit quite closely fought as Al Wahda have dominated 54% of the possession and Goa 46%.

31′ The visitors are now slowly trying to pile on the pressure on Goa whenever they get the ball. The Gaurs are moving the ball smoothly so far but it’s their passes in the final third that is lacking so far.

28′ After a fast-paced start to the game, things have slowed down in the last 10 mins or so. Goa are happy to defend deep and are struggling to get into counter-attacking situations after getting the ball. Meanwhile, Ortiz gets the ball just ahead of the half-way line and takes a shot from a long range out which goes over.

26′ Al Wahda get another free kick on the right winger after Ibrahim is chugged down by Brandon Fernandes.

23′ Chance! Matar whips in an impressive corner to Fares Juma, whose powerful header is held on well by Dheeraj.

22′ It’s been a very end-to-end contest so far but none of the teams have impressed with their decision-making in the final third. Al Wahda are now trying to play to their own pace and drag Goa’s defenders forwards to create chances.

19′ Al Wahda take a free-kick from the right wing very quickly to send Ibrahim through, but Dheeraj is again sharp to come off his line to collect the ball.

17′ Matar has been at the heart of everything good about Al Wahda and pulls off a cheeky fake to get the ball forward Tim Matavz, but before the centre-forward could send another teammate through, Gonzalez comes up with a big clearance to thwart danger.

15′ The visitors are creating a lot of problems with stitching together attacking chances and their high press is really troubling Goa. However, Al Wahda are still not that clinical and being frustrated by Goa’s tight shape.

12′ Hamad’s head has been heavily bandaged and he has to be replaced by Al Wahda as he is taken off on a stretcher. Mansoor Alharbi comes on for him.

10′ A stretcher has been brought onto the field because Hamad does not look in a good way at all. He’s being looked on by the medical staff, who are applying stitches on his injury.

8′ Play has to be stopped after a clash of heads involving Glan Martins and Abdulla Hamad. The Al Wahda player is down on the ground and looks to have suffered a nasty injury.

5′ Nervy stuff from FC Goa! Dheeraj Singh scuffs a clearance straight to the onrushing Matar before James Donachie’s sliding tackle clears the ball away. The visitors demand a penalty but the referee is having none of it!

4′ Al Wahda have seemingly targeted Sanson Pereira’s side and are mounting their attacks through that. Khalid Ibrahim gets the ball on the right and instead of shooting he cuts back and attempts a curler with his left foot that goes well over.

2′ Promising start from Goa! The Gaurs get the ball down the left to Jorge Ortiz, who flings in a sweet cross to Ishan Pandita – whose header isn’t properly hit and goes wide.

1′ KICK-OFF! Al Wahda start the game and are attacking from the right to left. They almost get a big scoring chance seconds after KO as Ismaeil Matar slings in a brilliant long-ball forward but Dheeraj Singh is quick to come off his line to collect it.

7:55 PM: The teams are coming out on the pitch now. They will take part in the pre-match rituals, including the toss, before the game kicks off. KO in just a bit folks, stay tuned!

7:50 PM: With Al Wahda looking to dominate possession and create things through the middle, the midfield duo of Edu Bedia and Glan Martins have big responsibilities on their shoulders. They must work hard defensively to close down opportunities for the visitors and also move the ball forward smoothly to help their teammates on the counter-attacks.

7:45 PM: While FC Goa’s defenders definitely did themselves proud by excelling in the last game, it’s time for their attackers to turn up if the Gaurs want to open their own goal-scoring tally in the tournament. Ishan Pandita has to be stronger and more clinical up front, while a lot will be on Jorge Ortiz’s shoulders to create that special something in the attack.

7:40 PM: The teams are out on the pitch undergoing their pre-match training before the game. It’s 31°C at Goa today, so the humid conditions will not make it an easy game for either set of players.

7:35 PM: One worrying stat for FC Goa is that Al Wahda have never failed to score a goal in their first two group stage games in AFC Champions League history. They were denied by Persepolis in their opener, so the Gaurs will have to pull off a heroic effort to keep a clean sheet today and put an end to this impressive record.

7:30 PM: The Gaurs will have to defend as strongly as they did in the last game because of Al Wahda’s attacking approach. The visitors should line up with a 4-3-3 formation, so Ferrando’s side needs to keep a tight shape to frustrate the UAE club today.

7:25 PM: Al Wahda have made two changes from the team which lost to Persepolis in their first game of the group stages. Captain Ismaeil Matar – who has been playing for the club since 2002- is back for this one and goalkeeper Mohamed Alshamsi also starts.

7:20 PM: FC Goa have, unsurprisingly, made no changes to their starting XI from the team who drew against Al-Rayyan. Juan Ferrando is hoping for some of the same today and will demand his boys to be more clinical on the counter-attacks to score their first goal(s) of the tournament.

7:15 PM: Team News IS IN!

FC Goa XI: Dheeraj, Seriton, Gonzalez, Donachie, Sanson, Bedia, Martins, Brandon, Ortiz, Jesuraj, Pandita

Subs: Naveen, Adil, Leander D’Cunha, Gama, Dohling, Amarjit, Romero, Chothe, Tlang, Murgaokar

Al Wahda FC XI: Mohamed Alshamsi, Lucas Pimenta, Fares Juma, Ahmed Rashid, Abdulla Alkarbi, Khalil Ibrahim, Abdulla Hamad, Lee Myung-Joo, Omar Khrbin, Tim Matavz, Ismaeil Matar

Subs: Rashed Ali, Mohamed Adel, Manea Ayed Al Ruwais, Mohamed Mesarri, Khamis Esmaeel, Mansoor Alharbi, Mansoor Almenhali, Awadh Alkatheeri

7:00 PM Welcome to the live coverage of the AFC Champions League match between Al Wahda FC and FC Goa from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa!

Both Al Wahda and FC Goa will be playing their second group-stage game of this season’s ACL, when they take on each other tonight. The Gaurs have had a good start to their campaign, drawing against Al-Rayyan SC from Qatar on Wednesday. The Indian Super League (ISL) outfit are also the first team ever from India to feature in Asia’s premier footballing competition and also the first club from the country to earn points in the competition.

The match between Goa and Al-Rayyan ended in a 0-0 stalemate, after both teams had good chances to score and take home the three points. Juan Ferrando’s boys must definitely be feeling confident following their impressive showing on Wednesday, and will look to continue their good run while taking on Al Wahda as well.

The UAE-based club, on the other hand, did not enjoy a bright start to the competition. They lost 1-0 to Persepolis in their opening fixture, also on Wednesday. Persepolis’ Jalal Hosseini scored the only goal of the game to help his side climb to the top of the group table.

Al Wahda is being led by former Barcelona and Chelsea assistant manager Henk ten Cate, and the team features star players like Khalil Ibrahim Al-Hammadi and Tim Matavz. Meanwhile, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando has a 28-member squad at his disposal for the competition. Captain Edu Bedia, Jorge Ortiz, Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie are the four foreign players in the squad, out of which Donachie is the AFC-affiliated player as he from Australia.

“I know their (Al Wahda’s) coach, I know their style, I know their attacking style. Tomorrow, we need a new plan. If we keep the ball, it is very difficult for Al Wahda to attack,” Ferrando said while speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday. Read more

When you take a detailed look into the Gaurs’ squad, you will also understand that the 40-year-old has acknowledged the importance of defensive stability while playing the continental competition. Read our detailed analysis of the FC Goa squad here.

Kick-off is less than an hour away now! As we wait for the final details including the line-ups of both teams, take a look at our Matchday Preview of the game here.

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