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

posted in Specials by Souvik Roy Chowdhury on 29th April 2021

posted in Specials

by Souvik Roy Chowdhury

on 29th April 2021

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

FC Goa move into their final game in the AFC Champions League on Thursday night against Al Wahda with the footballer fraternity in India wondering with more intent than last time as to whether the Gaurs can finally script a historic night and deliver to the nation, its first win in an AFC Champions League game at the group stage. 

The going has been a challenge and an inspiring one at that for Juan Ferrando and his men in the competition. And now the task becomes even more arduous with the head coach along with the foreign contingent leaving India following the club’s advice for the same one day prior to the last game. The club took pre-emptive measures in response to the ever-growing preventive steps taken by European and other nations in regards to travellers from India as the country battles a second deadly wave of COVID19. 

And that brings us here. Clifford Miranda in charge of an all Indian XI, looking to fight for their pride and that of the nation. It is going to be a tough job to select only three Gaurs to watch for as up against one of the best teams in Asia, it’s going to take all hands on board!

But try, I shall. And here are my picks.

#1 Glan Martins

Ever since joining the side in the early days of February, Glan Martins has been nothing but impressive. The glue guy in the middle, a man aware of his surroundings and one who is not afraid to put a foot in. He has been equally magnificent when called upon to do the dirty job or help the Gaurs build from the back. 

And today, the onus will again be on him to shine and be an example in midfield. In the absence of his partner, the creator-in-chief, Edu Bedia, Glan, one would presume will have to take a more authoritative role in the centre. 

#2 Dheeraj Singh

Dheeraj Singh’s performance in goal has been one of the noteworthy stories for FC Goa in their AFC Champions League campaign. In the 4 games Dheeraj has played for the Gaurs, Juan Ferrando’s men have conceded just 3 goals with 2 clean sheets to his name to go with 2 appearances in the AFC Champions League Team of the Matchday. 

He was brilliant the last times the two sides met, and now up against the Emiratis again with the foreign contingent missing in action, one would expect Dheeraj to be busy. The Gaurs stand a chance of eking out a result if he can again be at his best. 

#3 Brandon Fernandes

Brandon Fernandes, FC Goa vs Al Wahda - 700x375

The task of being the creator of the team will pass onto Brandon Fernandes for the game. Having helped set up both the FC Goa goals so far in the AFC Champions League, he has caught the eye again as he combined impressively with Edu Bedia and Jorge Ortiz to give FC Goa a real spark to the proceedings. 

With the duo missing from action today, he will have to take on the mantle of providing FC Goa with creativity going forward. If the Gaurs are to score a goal, one wouldn’t be surprised if Brandon Fernandes plays a big part in that.