The Spaniard also felt that the stalemate was a good moment for Indian football.

FC Goa secured a point after holding Al Rayyan to a goalless draw in their first ever AFC Champions League fixture. The Gaurs showed incredible grit and determination to keep their opponents at bay, who were massive favorites on paper. Following the game, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando spoke in the post-match press conference.

The Indian Super League outfit looked calm on the ball and did not let Laurent Blanc’s men dominate them. The valiant effort earned the Gaurs a historic first point as they are the first-ever Indian club to contest in the group stages of the AFC Champions League. 

Thoughts on the game

Juan Ferrando expressed his delight with the performance of his players on Wednesday night. However, he also felt the need to improve on minor details.

“They are happy for the point but in my point of view, we need to improve more in some details, in attacking positions, because it’s the Champions League and it’s necessary to prepare to complete the games in all the points. 

“It’s a good experience for the players. For me, it’s good because now, when we are working in the training session, we are focusing more on these details. It is very important for us and the Indian players also,” he said.

The Spaniard further termed the result as a ‘great learning curve’ for the team, especially for the domestic players.

Importance of the result for Indian football

The tactician hoped that FC Goa’s goalless draw against a superior Al Rayyan side is bound to bring more attention to Indian football.

“I hope it’s a good moment because people now know about Indian football. Five-six years ago, when you’re talking about Indian football, the people think most important is cricket, but football – not so much. For me, most important now is for the clubs to work in academies, make the future players, young players understand about Asian competitions like the Champions League,” he reiterated.

Need for different plans

Juan Ferrando was quizzed whether being defensively astute was a premeditated tactic by the team.

“In the end, preparing one plan in football at this moment is very difficult. Imagine if we conceded a goal in the first minute, then we had to make a plan B. I think it’s important that the players has a clear mentality. The players were very tired and our wingers were trying to find free space.

“I am happy that they understand the step-by-step, our methodology, our plans. I think now it is necessary to change the plan next Saturday,” he quipped.

Mood before the match

The 40-year-old also gave an insight into the psyche of the players right before the kickoff. He applauded the way they handled themselves despite the magnitude of the occasion.

“Everyone was thinking about, we needed concentration. In the real world, like a team also, this is really important because we know one against one Al Rayyan is better than us, but like a team, this is the concept of football,” he opined.

“I am happy about controlling the emotion. Believe me, one hour before the game, the faces were like (gestures nervousness), but I understand it is normal. I hope in the next game, we will be continuing in the same way. We have five more games and I think it is very important to continue in the same way,” he further added.

Happy but hungry

Juan Ferrando concluded the interaction by presenting his thoughts regarding the point earned.

“It is important because it’s a positive to pick for the next game. But for me, it’s necessary to talk about that at this moment we have five more games.

“The first game was (planned) correctly, then on Saturday, we need to improve more in attack, step-by-step it is very important to continue to improve in some details. We are happy but…we need to improve more,” he signed off.

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