FC Goa was able to come up with an impressive performance against Qatar’s club AL Rayyan SC as they salvaged a draw at the Jawaharlal Nehra Stadium, Goa on Wednesday. The Gaurs defended superbly throughout the game and showed their class against a top team.
It was a debut match for FC Goa in the AFC Champions League and given their inexperience at the big stage, their players did a fine job. Goa’s coach Juan Ferrando was delighted with the gutsy performance of his team and heaped praise on his players.
“We are happy because we played against a very good team. Everyone knows about the quality of their players. Playing against Laurent Blanc [Al Rayyan SC head coach] who won the World Cup in 1998. It was very difficult but we are happy with this point,” Ferrando said at the post-match press conference.
The Spaniard added that it is difficult to stick to one plan in football and the team has to adjust according to the match situation.
“In football, it is difficult to stick to one plan. Imagine if we had conceded a goal in the first minute, we had to prepare a plan ‘B’. Of course, our team tried to work on three plans — 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1. Also, it is very important that the players have a clear mentality, depending on the score and the time.
“Today from 60-70 minutes, it was very difficult for us, it became impossible to play against the pressing of Al Rayyan SC who played very well. The players were very tired. But I am happy. It is necessary now to change the plan for Saturday in our next match.”
Ferrando added that this draw will add a shot in the arm to his players, who were able to come up with an impressive show. The Gaurs will play five more matches in Group E.
“It [the result] is important because it is positive before preparing for the next game. For me, it is necessary to talk about this moment. We have five more games. The first game went well, the new target for Saturday is to further improve in attack. We have to go step-by-step and continue improving. This is not our limit and we have to improve more,” he said. “From a head coach’s point of view, we need to grow in some details and tactics. We need to improve in certain aspects of attack because this is AFC Champions League and it is necessary to prepare and compete in every aspect.”
The Gaurs will lock horns against Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates in their next match on Saturday (April 17).