Juan Ferrando: We were playing for India

posted in Interviews by Souvik Roy Chowdhury on 27th April 2021

posted in Interviews

by Souvik Roy Chowdhury

on 27th April 2021

Juan Ferrando: We were playing for India

Indian is in the midst of arguably, the country’s biggest crisis in modern times as a second wave of COVID19 spread has gripped the nation into near paralysis. And now as the majority of the citizens look to put their best foot forward to untangle the nation, the Gaurs looked to do the same when they took on a mission on Monday night. 

No Indian club had ever won a game in the AFC Champions League proper.

It needed overnight work as the game against Al Rayyan flowed into Tuesday. The Gaurs had secured a lead as early as the third minute and had chances to double the same as well. There was again grit in the line-up to combine with the much-accustomed guile and panache people have come to associate with FC Goa. 

And just as FC Goa were on the verge of delivering India with finally some good news, an 89th-minute strike denied India and Indians some much-needed smiles.

Juan Ferrando elaborated on the same whilst speaking in the post-match press conference. 

“Today’s was a very important game because the situation in India is very difficult. I am thinking that if we had won, it would have been a good moment for the Indian people,” said the Spaniard.

“It (the current situation) is very difficult. The players were saying ‘let’s play for India. But in the end, at the last minute (they scored). This is football. One mistake (and we got punished).

“Of course, we need to improve, we have one more opportunity to do so next Thursday, against Al Wahda.”

The Spaniard at the same time was circumspect of the load that the FC Goa players have been under – having to play six games in the space of 20 days. However, he seemed pleased with their effort on the pitch.

“I know my players were exhausted, believe me. The last minute today for them was a terrible moment, but it’s only possible to tell them in the dressing room that I was happy with their job,” Juan Ferrando pointed out.

The AFC Champions League has opened the doors to a new level of competition for the Gaurs which in turn has demanded them to be at their best. And Juan Ferrando reiterated the benefits of this exposure before signing off. 

“It’s a difficult one to lose in the last minute. But, the truth is that we played against very good teams. It’s a pleasure to play against Persepolis, Al Wahda and Al-Rayyan.” added Ferrando. “I think it’s good to play in these competitions like the AFC Champions League.”