It was a dream come true for the FC Goa fans to see their club play in the AFC Champions League. Not a lot was expected of them but they got off to a scintillating start and settled for an inspirational 0-0 draw against Qatar Stars League side Al-Rayyan at the Fatorda Stadium.
While the draw was a big boost, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando feels that his team need further improvements.
“We are happy because we played against a very good team. Everyone knows about the quality of their players. Playing against Laurent Blanc (Al Rayyan manager) who won the World Cup in 1998. It was very difficult but we are happy with this point,” said Juan Ferrando, after the match.
“But from a coach’s point of view, we need to grow in some details and tactics. We need to improve in certain aspects of the attack because this is AFC Champions League and it is necessary to prepare and compete in every aspect,” he added.
The 40-year-old head coach revealed that his side prepared multiple plans to tackle the Qatar team.
“In football, it is difficult to stick to one plan. Imagine if we had conceded a goal in the first minute, we had to prepare a plan ‘B’. Of course, our team tried to work on three plans – 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1. Also, it is very important that the players have a clear mentality, depending on the score and the time,” said Ferrando.
FC Goa is all set to take on UAE’s Al-Wahada in two days. AL-Wahada is not a strong competitor thus FC Goa will have a great chance of pocketing three valuable points. It will also be an opportunity for the Gaurs to refurbish their skills ahead of the marquee clash against the last season’s runner up, Persepolis FC on April 20. The coach further went on to say that it is important to keep improving with every game.
“It [the result] is important because it is positive before preparing for the next game. For me, it is necessary to talk about this moment. We have five more games. The first game went well, the new target for Saturday is to further improve in attack. We have to go step-by-step and continue improving. This is not our limit and we have to improve more,” he said.
Goa qualified for the group stage of the Champions League after taking the top spot in the ISL 2019-20.