Al-Rayyan’s late equalizer denies FC Goa first win in AFC Champions League

Jorge scored in the 3rd minute to give FC Goa the lead but Al Ferydoon’s equalizer in the 89th minute broke the Goan hearts.

FC Goa held to a 1-1 draw by Al-Rayyan at the Fatorda stadium; Credit: Twitter/@FCGoaOfficial

FC Goa went into the match against Al-Rayyan with the hopes of securing their first win in the AFC Champions League. The Gaurs came close, only to be denied by Al Ferydoon’s equalizer in the 89th minute. The Indian club scored only their second goal in the AFC Champions League through Jorge Ortiz in the 3rd minute. Dheeraj Singh, Seriton Fernandes and Brandon Fernandes were impressive on the night for Goa.

Brandon’s long ball from the middle of the park found Ortiz’s run. The Spanish forward poked the ball into the net after his initial attempt was deflected off Al-Rayyan goalkeeper Saud Al Hajiri. 

In response Y. Boli pressurized Goa defender Gonzalez to win the ball inside the penalty box. But, his two attempts were well covered by Goan custodian Dheeraj Singh. Dheeraj again made a decent save to keep out an Al-Rayyan free-kick in the 39th minute. Isahan Pandita’s Ambitious attempt in the 47th minute forced a diving save from Al-Rayyan keeper Al Hajiri.

FC Goa defense was solid throughout the match until a miss communication in the dying stages lead to Al-Rayyan equalizer. Abdulaziz Hatem got behind the defense to deliver a low cross from right side of the penalty box. Dheeraj got to the ball first, but a collision with Gonzalez pushed the ball into the path of Ali Ferydoon, who scored the goal on the turn.

Positives for FC Goa

Dheeraj Singh, who came back into the starting lineup after missing the previous match against Persepolis FC was again impressive in between the post’s. Apart from the mistake that lead to the goal, the Manipuri goalkeeper made six saves to deny the Al-Rayyan attackers.  

Seriton Fernandes at the right-back was consistent as always. He was strong with his tackling and challenges and denied Al-Rayyan attackers any space and time on the ball. He was also impressive going up front whenever he had the opportunity.

Brandon Fernandes provided the assist for Jorge Ortiz’s goals. He provided the assist for both the goals Goa has scored in the campaign.

In another match of the night Al-Wahda beat group leaders Persepolis 1-0, courtesy of a Tim Matavz’s fifth minute goal.

After the draw, FC Goa are third in Group E with 3 points from five games. Persepolis and Al-Wahda occupy the first and second position in the group with 12 and 10 points respectively from five games.

Going into the final match day on April 29th, Al-Wahda will take on FC Goa. Persepolis will play against Al-Rayyan. A win for Persepolis will take them to the next round. Whereas, a draw or a loss means they will have to depend on Al-Wahda’s result against Goa.

Sportslumo Desk

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