The 25-year-old made one appearance in the AFC Champions League 2021.

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa have handed a multi-year contract extension to Aibanbha Dohling, Khel Now can confirm. The defender agreed terms on the extended deal during the 2020-21 season itself.

“Aibanbha Dohling has signed a multi-year extension on his contract with FC Goa. He joined them ahead of the 2019-20 season on a two-year deal and the terms to extend were agreed upon during ISL 2020-21,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. Dohling started his football career at the Tata Football Academy and joined Shillong Lajong in January 2016. He went on to become an integral part of Lajong’s setup in the seasons that followed. Ahead of I-League 2018-19, the club also named him their second captain.

The 2018-19 season was a breakthrough campaign for the defender, who made 19 appearances for the Meghalaya-based club. He joined FC Goa in the following summer, but was able to play in just one game for the Gaurs in ISL 2019-20.

In ISL 2020-21, Aibanbha Dohling got more playing time at the club under new head coach Juan Ferrando. He clocked 376 minutes across eight matches and also maintained a passing accuracy of over 75%. Dohling’s defensive contributions from last season include five each of tackles and interceptions, 13 clearances and six blocks.

He also made one appearance in the recently concluded AFC Champions League 2021, playing the full 90 minutes against Al Wahda in a 2-0 defeat. The 25-year-old can play anywhere on defence, although he is strongest as a centre-back. He is also a long-throw specialist.

FC Goa’s pre-season preparations

The Gaurs had a fantastic 2020-21 season, qualifying to the ISL playoffs where Mumbai City beat them on penalties. They later played in the AFC Champions League 2021 as well, thereby becoming the first club to feature in Asia’s premier cup competition.

In the ACL, FC Goa drew three out of their six group stage matches. Edu Bedia became the first player from an Indian club to score in the competition, while Brandon Fernandes and Dheeraj Singh also played their roles to perfection.

Under head coach Juan Ferrando, the Goan outfit have now turned their attention to the forthcoming 2021-22 season. They are in the market for a foreign striker and defender, while the other overseas players are expected to continue. Additionally, Brandon recently signed a multi-year extension. More signings and contract extensions will follow in the weeks to come.

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