FATORDA: No Jorge Ortiz, Edu Bedia, Ivan González and James Donachie. It was always going to be a difficult task for FC Goa without their foreign players against a strong Al Wahda, who scored two goals in the second half to seal three points for the UAE side in the AFC Champions League.
FC Goa might have lost the fixture but definitely had a decent Champions League campaign as the Gaurs finished third with three points, above bottom-placed Al Rayyan who lost to Persepolis FC 2-4 and finished on two points.
It was an all-Indian line-up for Goa as their foreign contingent had to fly back due to COVID19 guidelines. This included their Spanish coach Juan Ferrando too. Assistant head coach Clifford Miranda, who was in charge of the game, stuck to the regular core Indian players while naming Adil Khan and Aibanbha Dohling in the defence. Redeem Tlang and Amarjit Singh were the other two changes in the team.
The home side had not many chances in the first 45 minutes and were forced to defend throughout the first session. Al Wahda were surging forward from every move, but FC Goa dealt with their opponents forays forwards.
While the defence did their job, the keeper Dheeraj Singh was at his best once again. He came up with a good save to deny Matavz not once but twice. On both occasion Dheeraj threw his body on the line to keep the score-line intact.
Though the Gaurs were without their foreigners, they managed to frustrate their opponents with defensive play. Gaurs had not many but just two half chances throughout the session where Glan Martins saw his effort being blocked by the defender and then Brandon’s goal bound chip shot being saved by the keeper.
Dheeraj continued his form in the second session and once again came with another fine save to deny Kharbin from his chip shot.
The FC Goa custodian finally conceded at the hour mark when Matvaz set Omar Khrbin free in the area where the latter fired into an empty net.
With the core team missing, FC Goa struggled to keep stability though the Indian contingent gave their best. However, FC Goa conceded their second from a defensive lapse where Khrbin squared the ball to Mohammed Barqesh who scored to seal the victory for the UAE side.
In the earlier match of the night, Persepolis got the better of Al Rayyan 4-2.