Two goalless attracts and a 1-2 loss into their maiden AFC Champions League marketing campaign, FC Goa face one other litmus check on Friday once they face Iranian heavyweights Persepolis on the Fatorda Stadium in Margao for the second time in 4 days, on Friday. Persepolis are high of the group with three wins from three video games. They will seal a knockout berth in the event that they beat Goa once more on Friday and second-placed Al-Wahda of UAE fail to beat Qatari aspect Al-Rayyan. Solely the group-toppers are assured of a spot within the knockout phases, with six of the ten second-placed groups from the teams making the subsequent spherical.
A spot within the knockouts appeared a bit far-fetched for FC Goa at first however hopes have soared after their opening two attracts. However Friday’s recreation will likely be something however simple. Key midfielder Edu Bedia, who scored early within the loss to Persepolis on Tuesday and picked up a knee harm within the second half, is suspended as a consequence of accumulation of yellow playing cards. The Spanish midfielder has stated there’s a lot to be happy with from the final recreation. “Persepolis, together with a number of the Japanese groups, are the most effective in Asia. They play excellent soccer; they’re very sturdy. We misplaced 2-1 to them and will have gone 2-0 up inside 20 minutes. We will be happy with our efficiency,” he informed the membership’s YouTube channel.
In Bedia’s absence, Amarjit Singh or Adil Khan might make the beginning line-up. Coach Juan Ferrando will even get the providers of 22-year-old midfielder Princeton Rebello, who got here on instead on Tuesday after getting back from a Covid-induced isolation. It, nonetheless, stays to be seen whether or not Rebello has the match health to play a full recreation. Within the earlier fixture, ahead Ishan Pandita was dropped as Ferrando opted for warning in opposition to a strong Persepolis aspect. Which may be the case once more as Goa look to keep away from defeat in opposition to the group favourites.
In his pre-match press convention, Ferrando, nonetheless, insisted that the goal for the membership will likely be nothing lower than three factors. “We’ve got three extra video games. It’s essential to enhance; it’s not attainable to repeat the identical errors. Our goal is to get the subsequent 9 factors. We all know and respect all of the groups–they’re excellent groups–however that’s our goal,” he stated. Fatigue has performed a task in a number of the errors dedicated by his aspect however Ferrando isn’t impressed with Goa’s efficiency.
“Am I pleased? No, as a result of the mentality of this membership and our dressing room is to win each recreation. However we all know we’re within the Champions League and these are very tough video games. In some factors, I’m pleased as a result of the staff has put in good performances. I’m pleased as a result of generally of the timing of the press. (However) the timing of the positional assault has not been good. On this competitors, it’s crucial to regulate these particulars,” he stated. “Towards Persepolis, we weren’t profitable in our plan. I perceive as a result of a few of our gamers have been very, very drained, not simply bodily but in addition mentally. Whenever you play 200 minutes of excessive depth soccer, usually the gamers are very drained.”
For Yahya Golmohmmadi’s Persepolis, something however a win right here will likely be a disappointing outcome. Regardless of Mehdi Torabi and Seyed Jalal Hosseini’s first-half objectives on Tuesday, the Iranians did not convert numerous probabilities throughout the recreation. That’s one thing they are going to hope to alter on Friday.