AFC Champions League 2021: Al Rayyan vs FC Goa, 3 Gaurs to watch out for

posted in Specials by Souvik Roy Chowdhury on 26th April 2021

posted in Specials

by Souvik Roy Chowdhury

on 26th April 2021

AFC Champions League 2021: Al Rayyan vs FC Goa, 3 Gaurs to watch out for

After slumping to two consecutive defeats at the hands of Iranian powerhouse Persepolis, FC Goa will out to resurrect their AFC Champions League campaign when they step out on Monday night to face Al Rayyan.

And who can really help the Gaurs overcome the steep challenge that the Qataris pose today? We look at three such names heading into Monday night’s competition:

#1 Glan Martins

The midfield dynamo should be back in the line-up for the game against Al-Rayyan. The ever industrious Martins will be key if FC Goa are to get anything from the game.

Glan, 26, has become a vital cog in the Juan Ferrando machinery ever since his arrival from ATK Mohun Bagan in January. His tenacity in the middle combined with his awareness of players around him helps the Gaurs set up well both in defence as well as building out from the back. 

In the last game against Al Rayyan, which finished as a goalless draw, Martins played a crucial role in helping FC Goa earn their first points in the tournament. He finished the last game against Al Rayyan with 14 challenges (only eclipsed by Ivan Gonzalez) whilst completing 83% of his passes.

#2 Edu Bedia

Edu Bedia, FC Goa vs Persepolis, AFC Champions League - 700x375 (1)

Edu Bedia is the heart and soul of the side, and maybe the brains as well. The midfield mainstay, Bedia has become an absolutely essential commodity for the Gaurs to have in the starting XI if they are to stand a chance against any of the sides in the competition.

The captain led by example in the first two games – controlling the tempo as he helped the Gaurs stick to their philosophy of passing football while mixing in a healthy dose of pragmatism when required. 

He led the side with 97 actions (which includes passes, challenges, interceptions etc.) whilst completing 90% of his passes (70 of 78) which included 6 passes (from 9 attempted) into the final third and 5 accurate long balls (from 8 attempted).

#3 Jorge Ortiz

The game should in effect also see the return of Jorge Ortiz into the side after being left out of the starting line-up in the last game to recharge his batteries. The Spaniard adds some much-need mischief to the FC Goa ranks when they go forward.

Ortiz brings something to the line-up that no one else can – the ability to carry the ball at will over distances – thanks to his quick feet and superb acceleration. The nifty winger-cum-forward should again add an impetus to the proceedings for the Gaurs as they take on another accomplished side in the form of Al Rayyan.