FC Goa has announced a 28-man squad for the upcoming 2021 AFC Champions League. The Gaurs will kick off their journey in the competition against Qatar’s Al-Rayyan on 14th April.
As per the rules of the AFC Champions League, no team can add more than four overseas players to their squad. Out of these four players, one must be from AFC affiliated team and thus Goa has picked Australian defender James Donachie.
Meanwhile, striker Igor Angulo and midfielder Alberto Noguera will miss out in the squad. Both of these players had recently played for the club in the Hero Indian Super League and had played a key role in taking the Gaurs to the semi-final of the tournament. Igo Angulo had finished as the highest goal-scorer of the seventh edition with 14 goals.
On the other hand, Romeo Fernandes has made a comeback to the squad for the first time since 2016. Apart from four overseas, 11 players have been added to the squad from state Goa. Three overseas players hail from Spain whereas one is Australian.
Goa is in Group E, which begins on April 14 in Goa. The Group has previous season finalist Persepolis FC (Iran), Qatar’s Al Rayyan, and the playoff winner of Al-Wahda (UAE) and Al-Zawraa (Iraq). All four nations’ club competitions are among the top 10 in the AFC rankings, whereas India is placed 15.
Meanwhile, FC Goa ended the recently concluded Hero Indian Super League season in fourth place after seven wins from 20 games. The Gaurs’ journey was ended when they lost to eventual winners – Mumbai City FC 6-5 in the penalty shootout.
Here is the squad:
Goalkeepers: Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Shubham Dhas, Dheeraj Singh.
Defenders: Sanson Pereira, Seriton Fernandes, Leander D’Cunha, Iván González (Spain), Mohamed Ali, James Donachie (Australia), Aibanbha Dohling, Saviour Gama, Adil Khan.
Midfielders: Edu Bedia (Spain), Glan Martins, Princeton Rebello, Brandon Fernandes, Phrangki Buam, Redeem Tlang, Makan Chothe, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Romeo Fernandes.
Forwards: Jorge Ortiz (Spain), Devendra Murgaokar, Ishan Pandita