India international and FC Goa midfielder admitted that no one expected FC Goa to earn two points from their first two matches at the AFC Champions League. He feels that the Gaurs have already surpassed the expectations of the people with their back to back goalless draws against Al Rayyan and Al Wahda respectively in their maiden ACL campaign.
The Indian Super League club is set to face last season’s ACL runner’s up, Persepolis from Iran next.
Speaking on the performance so far Brandon said, “It’s definitely a great feeling. It’s a big achievement for us to get these two points. Nobody expected us to give such a tough fight but we kept pushing and working hard and we will continue to push ourselves in the upcoming matches.”
Juan Ferrando’s men had their chances i9n both the matches but luck was not on their side. The gaurs had a clear penalty shout against Al Rayyan deep in the second half while Brandon saw his shot strike the post and come out against Al Wahda.
“When I got into that situation, all I thought about was to place the ball in the corner but unfortunately it hit the post. I strongly wished it went in,” the 26-year-old shared his feelings.
The Gaurs are currently second in the group just behind the Iranian outfit Persepolis. Brandon feels that Goa’s strength lies in the style of the play that Ferrando has chalked out for them as their toughest test lies ahead of them.
“This has been the style of FC Goa all along and the priority has been to maintain the ball possession. The coach has been guiding us through various aspects, especially in transitions and controlling the spaces, and the team is following it all very well,” Fernandes added that the approach against Persepolis will be no different.
“Nothing different from the previous matches, we are going to continue fighting and pushing ourselves, making sure that we give them a tough fight. Most important is teamwork. You have to stick together as one. Yes, the level of competition is high but you can’t give away easily. You have to give it your all.”
FC Goa were resolute in defence in both the matches while they created some opening against Al Wahda as one of the shots struck the post and a few of them were saved by their custodian. It will be interesting to see how they plan against the Iranian champions.