The Gaurs are the first-ever team from India to feature in Asia’s premier club football competition.

FC GoaAl-Rayyan SC
0-0

FC Goa did themselves proud and did Indian Football proud with a heroic performance against Al-Rayyan, who seem to be bamboozled by what they faced. They did not expect the Gaurs to be the warrior they were tonight and were just not able to outpeform them on the pitch. Everything about Goa’s plan was perfect today – from Ferrando’s brilliant tactics to neutralize Blanc’s attacking plans to the players going that extra mile to make things difficult for the Al Rayyan players. Goa will feel undone as two of their penalty shouts were waved away and looking back at it, at least one could have been give and they even could’ve even gotten a win! Irrespective, that is a hard-earned and vital point for Goa and a tight slap to the face of those who even doubted their ability to get a single point from this tough group. A fantastic performance from the entire-back four, brilliant foreigners and youngers cap off what is probably Goa’s most famous result in their history. Up next for them is UAE side Al-Wahda and they’ll have to be just as good, if not better, to gain a positive result from that one. We’ll be back with coverage of that game on Saturday! Until then, this is Uttiyo Sarkar signing off for Khel Now. Good night, Ladies & Gentlemen!

90+5′ Al Rayyan try their best to create one late chance but they are unable to do so. A huge result for FC Goa who gain a point to start off their AFC Champions League campaign!

90+4′ FC Goa win a late corner against Al-Rayyan in what could be the last kick of the game. Can they pull off something special here?!

90+3′ Boli gets another chance to score and sees his attempt saved, but he was offside anyways. In a late sub, Brandon Fernandes goes off for Amarjit.

90+2′ Goa are readying up Amarjit Singh to come up as a late substitute to see things off.

90+1′ 4 minutes of added time left! Few more minutes for Goa to hold onto to record what would be a famous result.

90′ CLOSE! A brilliant cross is sent from the right from Al Aaeldin to the far post but a header hits the side-netting! Goa almost saw their hearts sink there!

89′ Al-Rayyan are throwing in the kitchen sink now in a desperate attempt to get a late goal. Brahimi has been awarded as the Man of the Match for his performance by the AFC.

87′ Ahmed Sayed and Ivan Gonzalez are booked for respective sides.

86′ Brilliant save from Dheeraj! A ball is floated into the far post and Boli gets a powerful header which is saved with a reflex save by the Goa goalkeeper to keep things at 0-0!

85′ Ishan Pandita goes off after an extremely hard-working performance, with Devendra Murgaokar replacing him.

84′ Another attempt blocked! Boli finally gets a shot from inside the box but Gonzalez turns up to block his attempt in a vital save!

83′ Brahimi does brilliantly to dribble his way past multiple bodies inside the box but just as he’s able to pull the trigger, Donachie blocks his attempt before clearing it away.

81′ Brilliant clutch tackle from Seriton to avert disaster! Dheeraj poorly gives the ball away with a sloppy pass and Boli is nearly played through but before he can take a shot, Fernandes comes flying with a last-ditch challenge to clear it away.

79′ Al-Rayyan make a double change as Franck Kom and Abdulaziz Hatem go off for Abdulrahman Al Korbi and Ahmed Al Sayed.

77′ FC goa make a change as Romario goes off after a solid performance – with Saviour Gama replacing him.

75′ ANOTHER PENALTY SHOUT! Jesuraj whips in a cross from the right which hits the hand of Al Aaeldin but the referee refuses to give it despite Pandita’s claims!

73‘ Ortiz is again fouled inside his own half after a reckless foul from Franck Kom. The Spaniard has been a menace for the visitors so far in this game.

71′ Brandon Fernandes maintained a 97% passing accuracy for FC Goa in the first hour of the game – completing 29 of his 30 passes!

70′ Gonzalez and Donachie work together well to stop Boli, who almost goes through on goal before Donachie comes up with a clutch clearance to deny him a goal-scoring opportunity.

68′ The first substitution of the game is made by Al Rayyan as Mowafak Awad comes on for Ibrahim Masoud.

67′ There are some noticeably tired legs within the Goa team because of how much the players have worked. Perhaps Ferrando needs to look into making substitutions now.

64′ Seriton again does well to cleverly get the ball into the box, but Pandita can’t judge it properly and tries to play a flick-on to an onrushing Ortiz which never reaches the Spaniard. Meanwhile, Sanson Pereira is booked for a reckless foul.

62′ Al-Rayyan are starting to cause more problems and again move the ball swiftly into the FC Goa box before Brahimi’s scuffed shot goes wide.

60′ Abdulaziz sprints into the box swiftly to get the ball in a promising area and takes a shot, which is blocked well by Donachie to deny him a scoring chance.

59′ Goa are becoming slightly sloppy with their passes to give away the ball cheaply to the Al-Rayyan players – something Ferrando will want to get fixed to not gift the visitors any chances.

57′ Brilliant defending from Gonzalez! Al-Rayyan create a swift move through the middle as Abdulaziz finds Al Aaeldin inside the box but before the right-back’s pass could reach Boli – Gonzalez reacted swiftly to fend away danger.

55′ Laurent Blanc looks a worried man on the sidelines as his side struggles to create anything prominent from open play. Ferrando’s tactics have outshone his own so far.

53′ Fortunately Ortiz is up and running again and has not suffered anything prominent at all. Looking sharp on the left.

52′ Ortiz is down on the ground after taking a smack on his head while going for an aerial duel. He looks in discomfort as the medical team are undergoing concussions checks.

50′ Al-Rayyan tries to create a chance through a free-kick but the floated delivery is collected smartly by Dheeraj.

48′ PENALTY SHOUT FROM GOA! Ortiz and Brandon link up well to send the Spaniard through on goal off the right wing and Ortiz’s cross hits an Al-Rayyan defender – triggering hand-ball shouts from multiple players. Referee says play on!

47′ Seriton goes on an impressive forward run through the right and whips in a corner that is deflected off an opposition player for a corner.

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

HALF TIME ANALYSIS: So far, so good for FC Goa. It’s been a brave performance from Juan Ferrando’s men so far, who have made things very difficult for the visitors. The possession has been equally split by both teams so far and Al Rayyan have not been afforded any inch of free space in the final third. The Qatari-side has had a few shots on target but both relatively easy saves for Dheeraj Singh so far. Both James Donachie and Ivan Gonzalez have done really well to keep things tight at the back and dangerous striker Yohan Boli hasn’t seen much of the ball at all. Goa’s midfielders and wingers have also worked very hard to help the defence but have been a bit lacking on the counter-attack – with only Romario Jesuraj getting their only shot on target. Ferrando will motivate his side to maintain their defensive sturdiness and be a bit more clinical on the counter-attack to cap off what is turning out to be a superb performance from the hosts. We’ll be back with coverage of the 2nd half soon, stay tuned folks!

45+3′ Goa earn a corner right at the end of the first-half. It’s taken quickly but is cleared as both teams go into the break all square!

45+2′ Romario is shown a yellow card for a reckless two-footed sliding tackle on Brahimi.

45+1′ 3 minutes of added time is announced as Goa aim to go into the half with the scoreline all square.

44′ OOH! Abdulaziz gets another shot from long after being invited by a pass from Boli – but his shot goes flying over the post.

42′ Al Hadrami does well to bully his way past Donachie but his shot from a very wide angle is collected comfortably by Dheeraj.

40′ CLOSE! FC Goa get their first shot on target on the day as Romario finds some space outside the ball and hits a driving shot on goal that is parried away for a corner.

38′ Ibrahim Masoud is shown a yellow card for a dangerous studs up challenge on Glan Martins.

37′ Signs of frustrations from Al-Rayyan! Unable to do anything else, Abdulaziz Hatem takes an ambitious shot from 35 yards out that powers over the bar.

36′ Al-Rayyan’s captain Yacine Brahimi is trying his best to find gaps to send his attackers through but Goa’s impressive positioning is denying him that as the captain misplaces a pass to give back Goa the possession.

34′ Goa are moving the ball forward really well and did well to play the ball out of defence before Jesuraj loses it just inside his own area to give Al-Rayyan the possession.

32′ The Gaurs move the ball forward smoothly through the right in a swift break and Jesuraj gets a chance to whip in a floating cross which Pandita can’t get a head to.

31′ Boli does well to win back the ball just outside Goa’s penalty area but his scuffed shot is a poor one and easily collected by Dheeraj.

30′ Despite Al Rayyan getting the better of the chances, Goa have actually dominated more of the possession with 54% of it so far.

27′ Goa are defending deep here but struggling to get the ball to Ishan Pandita up front. Al-Rayyan are playing their game at their own pace trying to find gaps in Goa’s shape.

23′ The Gaurs have done well to keep things 0-0 so far. They’re putting in a hard working effort to frustrate the Qatari side here.

21′ Seriton does well to fend off pressure from the opposition and win a free-kick inside his own half.

19′ Al-Rayyan get a free-kick from a promising area after Boli is brought down on the left-wing by Donachie.

17′ Goa get a decent attacking chance through the right but Alexander Jesuraj is muscled off the ball at the byline.

13′ Yellow card for Al-Rayyan’s Mohamed Alaaeldin and free-kick for FC Goa.

Alaaeldin fouls Jorge Ortiz from behind and becomes the first player tonight to enter the referee’s books.

12′ Brahimi and Boli are exerting a lot of pressure on Goa defender James Donachie. The Australian is hard at work trying to keep both players at bay.

9′ Too many defensive errors from FC Goa already. This could turn out to be a long night for the Gaurs if they do not fix them as soon as possible.

8′ Another chance for Al-Rayyan! Naif Al-Hadhrami was one-on-one against the FC Goa keeper Dheeraj Singh, and ultimately it is Singh who comes out on top. Good save!

6′ Chance for Al-Rayyan! Yacine Brahimi has a clear shot on goal, but he fires wide.

1′ Kick-off! Al-Rayyan have kicked off proceedings at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.

10:25 PM: ICYMI – Al-Rayyan manager Laurent Blanc, who had previously managed PSG, spoke about FC Goa before the tie.

He said, “FC Goa is the local team that hosts this group. It will be a difficult match but we can play against any team. I watched the Goa team via video. They are a good team.”

10:15 PM: TEAM NEWS IS IN!

Here’s how FC Goa will line up against Al-Rayyan:

FC Goa substitutes: Naveen Kumar, Adil Khan, Leander D’Cunha, Saviour Gama, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Phrangki Buam, Romeo Fernandes, Redeem Tlang, Makan Winkle Chothe, Devendra Murgaonkar.

Here’s how Al-Rayyan will line up against FC Goa:

Fahad Younis (GK); Mohamed Alaaeldin, Shoja Khalilzadeh, Dame Traore, Khaled Muftah; Franck Kom, Abdel Aziz Hatim; Ibrahim Masoud, Yacine Brahimi, Naif Al-Hadhrami; Yohan Boli.

9:20 PM: Welcome to the live coverage of AFC Champions League match between FC Goa and Al-Rayyan SC from JLN stadium, Fatorda Goa.

The moment we have all been waiting for his finally here, as FC Goa are making their debut in the AFC Champions League! The Gaurs are also the first-ever Indian team to feature in the continent’s premier club competition, as you already know by now. Today, FC Goa will be taking on Al-Rayyan SC from Qatar, in their first group stage match of the competition.

Al-Rayyan is being led by former PSG head coach Laurent Blanc, and the team features star players like Yohan Boli and Yacine Brahimi. The match will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa and kick-off is at 10:30 pm IST!

Last week, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando named a 28-member squad 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. ISL 2020-21 Golden Boot winner Igor Angulo and top-assist provider Alberto Noguera famously did not make the cut, and Ferrando explained on Tuesday that it was a last-minute decision.

“We need some players in defence, now, this is the last decision. Of course, he (Angulo) is a very important player in our positional attack, but no worries, no excuses. This is the rule, this is our squad, we believe in all the players,” he said while speaking at the pre-match press conference. 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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