AFC League: FC Goa’s impressive run continues

Panaji: Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa came up with another impressive performance, keeping their slate clean in a goalless draw against UAE’s Al Wahda in an AFC Champions League (ACL) Group Stage match.
After a gritty performance against the top-flight Qatari club Al-Rayyan on April 14, which also ended in a stalemate, Juan Ferrando’s men played a more open game and had a few moments of brilliance on both sides of the field.
One would be forgiven to think that FC Goa — who are the first Indian club to be featuring the group stage of the competition — deserved more, with Brandon Fernandes hitting the upright and Devendra Murgaokar forcing the Al Wahda keeper into a fantastic save.
FC Goa went in with an unchanged eleven that started against Al Rayyan and got into attacking mode immediately with Ishan Pandita making contact from a header following a cross from the left flank. Although his effort wasn’t very precise, the early signs were positive.
Al Wahda grew into the half, mounting their first big threat in the 23rd minute. Fares Juma headed a corner towards the goal, but Dheeraj Singh comfortably held on as FC Goa absorbed the pressure.
Jorge Ortiz fired one from distance five minutes later, but his shot was well over the bar and no trouble for Al Wahda.
Al Wahda did force a couple of more saves from Dheeraj before the end of the first half, first by Khalil Ibrahim and then Tim Matavz taking aim from inside the box only to see the young custodian come out on top on both occasions.