Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goa drew goalless with UAE Pro League (UAEPL) side Al Wahda on Matchday two of the AFC Asian Champions League (ACL) on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
FC Goa showed grit and resilience in the first-half
Juan Ferrando made no changes to FC Goa's starting line-up after their goalless draw with Al-Rayyan on Matchday one. Al Wahda started the game on a positive note with constant penetration inside the FC Goa half.
Ismael Matar and Fares Juma used the wings to great effect and created several half-chances for Al Wahda. Centre-forward Khaleel Ibrahim caused some problems in the first half for FC Goa with his darting runs inside the box.
Omar Khrbin took some long shots from distance as FC Goa seldom allowed any space for the UAE side as the game ended goalless at the end of the first half.
FC Goa come close to scoring on three occasions in the second half.
FC Goa shifted gears in the second half with the introduction of Devendra Murgaonakar upfront in place of Ishan Pandita. A quick Devendra run, followed by a cross to Jorge Ortiz, was cleared desperately by the Al Wahda defense.
The clearance fell to Brandon Fernandes, who hit the post from inside the box in the 56th minute.
Al-Wahda responded with strength as Ismael Matar had to be brought down inside the box by Ivan Gonzalez to keep the scores level in the very next minute as Wahda came close to scoring as well.
Dheeraj Singh made some crucial saves throughout the 90 minutes including a save off an Omar Khrbin header from point-blank range.
Al Wahda came agonizingly close to scoring but Dheeraj Singh dispossessed Khaled Ibrahim in a one-vs-one situation. The ball fell to Omar Khrbin but it was intercepted by Seriton Fernandes in a last-ditch tackle to keep the score goalless in the 64th minute.
Devendra Murgaonkar made a solo run down the left side and was clear on goal but never took a shot and yet another scoring chance went to waste for FC Goa.
Brandon Fernandes whipped in a low cross from the right side towards Devendra Murgaonkar but the Al Wahda goalkeeper mopped it up to clear the danger.
Jorge Ortiz failed to make crucial passes through the fixture but made several solo runs for FC Goa in the final third. Al Wahda was denied yet again as Dheeraj Singh made an acrobatic save from point-blank range and was assisted by Seriton Fernandes for the final clearance.
Glan Martins and Edu Bedia played a crucial role in the midfield. The midfield duo put up a strong block in the center of the park and did not allow much space for the UAE side as the game ended goalless.
FC Goa are placed second in Group D of the ACL after Matchday two as Persepolis defeated Al-Rayyan with a 3-1 scoreline in the other fixture. The Gaurs will face Persepolis on April 20th on Matchday three.