AFC Champions League: FC Goa play out second consecutive draw, hold Al Wahda of UAE 0-0

FC Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh denied 2017 Asian Player of the Year Award Omar Khribin in the 90th and 93rd minute to earn a precious point for his team.

Published : Apr 17, 2021 23:02 IST , MARGAO

Jorge Ortiz (Right) was a threat to the Al Wahda defence at various periods of the game.
Jorge Ortiz (Right) was a threat to the Al Wahda defence at various periods of the game.

Jorge Ortiz (Right) was a threat to the Al Wahda defence at various periods of the game.

FC Goa gave a mighty scare to Al Wahda with a fine counter-attacking football in the second half as it held the fancied side from the UAE to a goalless draw in the AFC Champions League group stage here on Saturday.

It was the second such result in as many matches for the Goan side, which had also played out a goalless draw against Qatar's Al Rayyan in its first Group E match on Wednesday.

FC Goa was left to defend its citadel during the first half but the team showed its counter-attacking prowess in the next 45 minutes with at least a couple of chances that could have resulted in a goal.

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Brandon Fernandes' 54th-minute strike from a counter-attacking move beat the Al Wahda goalkeeper Al Shamsi all ends up but it hit the upright.

Again in the 69th minute, Devendra Murgaokar, who came in for Ishan Pandita in the 54th minute, received a brilliant long ball from captain Edu Betia. He got the better of a defender and sent a low cross on the face of Al Wahda goal but it was cleared after a goal-mouth scramble.

Devendra had another shot in the 73rd minute from a handshaking distance but could not find the target.

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Young FC Goa goalkeeper Moirangthem Dheeraj Singh had another fantastic performance for the second match in a row as he denied former UAE captain Ismail Matar in the 78th minute and then again saved his side from conceding in the 90th minute.

In the first half though, Al Wahda was the dominant side as it threatened the FC Goa citadel time and again with veteran Matar in the thick of things on most occasions.

The 37-year-old Matar, who has played more than 130 matches for UAE, dictated terms in the midfield to initiate most of the Al Wahda attacks.

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To the credit of FC Goa, it had 47 per cent possession in the first half despite having to defend from its own half for most of the first session.

FC Goa will play its third match against last edition runners-up side Persepolis FC of Iran on Tuesday.

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