FC Goa ended their AFC Champions League with a 2-0 loss against UAE’s Al Wahda in their last Group E (West Region) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Thursday. The team was without their head coach Juan Ferrando and the four foreign players as they were asked by the club to fly back to their respective countries as European countries have suspended flights from India amid the second wave of Covid-19.
However, the team’s assistant coach Clifford Miranda was proud of his team’s efforts despite the loss. In fact, the Gaurs were able to keep Al Wahda at bay in the first 60 minutes but Omar Khribin and Mohammed Al Menhali scored to lead the Emirati side to a win.
“It is always difficult when you don’t have players who have been playing regularly for the past few games. However, it was an opportunity for the other players,” he said after the Gaurs’ third defeat in the competition.
“I am very proud of these players that they played extremely well, they played to their maximum. Maybe with a little bit of luck here and there, we could have got a result but then we were up against one of the better teams in Asia who are several levels above us,” he added.
Miranda added that though Juan Ferrando was not there to help his players from the sideline but the team followed the plan which was set up by the chief coach.
“To be honest, it was nothing different. We had a set plan made by Juan. As the boss, he makes the plan, and on the field both of us execute it and it was the same thing today. He made a plan and I just had to execute it and that was not difficult. The difficult part was to play matches every two days,” he said.
FC Goa were up against one of the strongest sides in Asia and they did well in all their matches. The Gaurs were able to draw their first two games but then veered off the track. Furthermore, Goa played six matches in an interval of 16 days. Goa drew three matches and lost as many to bag three points and finish third in Group E.