FC Goa conceded an 89th minute equaliser to complete with a 1-1 draw in opposition to Al Rayyan within the AFC Champions League on the Fatorda on Monday.
Goa had gone into the match figuring out they’d already been eradicated by advantage of Al Wahda’s 1-0 victory over Persepolis FC earlier within the day. Goa knew that they’d misplaced the prospect to qualify for the Round of 16 of the Champions League, however they actually nonetheless had delight to play for.
A extra acquainted trying FC Goa aspect took to the pitch for this recreation after a closely modified outfit misplaced 4-0 to Persepolis on Apr 23. Captain Edu Bedia, Jorge Ortiz, Brandon Fernandes and Dheeraj Singh have been amongst these making their return to the beginning eleven.
Goa flew out of the blocks and took the lead simply three minutes in. Brandon Fernandes pinged an extended ball in behind the opposition’s defence, and Jorge Ortiz pounced. After a slip from his marker, Ortiz’s first try was thwarted by the onrushing keeper, Saud Al Hajiri, however the ahead’s persistence paid off as he was first to the deflected ball earlier than sliding the ball into the again of the web.
The Laurent Blanc managed Al Rayyan went on the offensive. Dheeraj made an excellent level clean save from Yohan Boli. Goa then saved their Qatari opposition at bay for a lot of the primary half, however Dheeraj was compelled into motion within the fortieth minute, as a Boli free kick was punched away to security.
There was extra drama simply earlier than the top of the half – an FC Goa counter assault noticed Ishan Pandita have a go from close to the midway line, after he noticed the goalkeeper off his line. Al Hajiri, although, saved the shot, comfortably.
Goa defender Ivan Gonzalez bailed his goalkeeper out simply moments later, making an necessary deal with to cease a transparent aim-scoring alternative after a mixture up on the again.
The second half introduced renewed optimism and but extra of the identical by way of defending for FC Goa, with Dheeraj compelled to shut down Abdurrahman Al Korbi’s effort within the forty seventh minute as he got here out and made himself large.
Goa seemed untroubled for a lot of the half following this effort, and Glan Martins grew in affect as the sport went on, even fashioning an opportunity of his personal within the 72nd minute. The midfielder discovered himself with time and house simply exterior the field, however his shot on aim flew over the bar when it in all probability ought to have been on the right track from that vary.
Seriton Fernandes had one other likelihood within the 86th minute, when he charged into the field on considered one of his many overlaps. The proper-again, although did not maintain his composure on the essential second, permitting the Al Rayyan defence to nick the ball off him.
Then within the 89th minute Al Rayyan equalised. This time it was a cross by Abdulaziz Hatem that was spilled by Dheeraj, permitting Ali Farydoon to react quickest and smash the ball dwelling to make it 1-1.
It was heartbreak for a group that was on the verge of changing into India’s first ever aspect to win a recreation within the AFC Champions League, and as they tried to discover a late winner, Dheeraj was compelled into one last save.
Deep into stoppage time, Khalid Muftah let fly with a stinging effort, however the defiant Dheeraj saved him out to make sure FC Goa depart with at the very least some extent.
Goa stay third in Group E following this draw, and play their sixth and last AFC Champions League match in opposition to Al Wahda on Thursday, 29 April with kickoff scheduled for 10:30 PM.