Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goa came agonizingly close to clinching their first win in the AFC Champions League (ACL) last night. However, the game ended 1-1, courtesy of a last-minute equalizer from Qatar Stars League (QSL) side Al-Rayyan.
Jorge Ortiz puts FC Goa into the lead
FC Goa got off to a wonderful start after central midfielder Glan Martins found Jorge Ortiz Mendoza with a perfectly floated through ball. The Spaniard went past his marker before rounding the opposition keeper to slot the ball into the back of the net in the 3rd minute of the match.
Al-Rayyan held the majority of the ball for the rest of the first half but failed to create a clear-cut goal-scoring chance against the Gaurs.
FC Goa lacked concentration in the final minutes of the game
Al-Rayyan showed more conviction in the second-half and started to threaten Dheeraj Singh's goal with greater urgency. However, Singh produced a fine series of acrobatic stops to keep the Qatar side at bay for the majority of the match.
The Gaurs got a golden chance to double the lead after Devendra Murgaokar put Seriton Fernandes through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat in the 86th minute. However, Fernandes scuffed the chance to kill the tie.
Seriton's miss proved expensive for Juan Ferrando's side. A few moments later, Saviour Gama failed to block a cross from entering the FC Goa box. Sadly for the Gaurs, the cross was misjudged by James Donachie as well, leaving Al-Rayyan striker Ferydoon to slot it home from point-blank range.
The match ended 1-1 as the final whistle blew soon after.
It was difficult to lose at the very last minute: FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando
FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando had this to say:
''Of course, it's difficult when you lose at the very last minute. However, it was a pleasure to play against such a tough side and get a relatively good result.''
''I was hoping to win today's fixture and dedicate the victory to the Indians, especially in such trying times.''
''I cannot talk about the mistakes but there is scope for improvement from all the players,'' said FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando in the post-match press conference.
FC Goa are placed third in the ACL Group E standings and will lock horns with second placed side Al-Wahda (UAE) on the final matchday on April 29. Ivan Gonzalez will miss the fixture through suspension after getting booked for the second time in 5 games.