Indian club FC Goa suffered a 0–2 defeat to Al Wahda from the United Arab Emirates in the final match of the group stage to end their preliminary campaign in the AFC Champions League on a disappointing note in Margao on Thursday.
Omar Khribin shot 61 minutes from the left and managed to prevent the visitors from scoring another goal. The free-kick survived easily as a result of Tim Matvaz. Al Wahda nearly doubled the lead, but goalkeeper Naveen Kumar, who removed the first-choice goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, arose after a clash with his own defender following an injury, he managed to save the team’s effort in 72 minutes. Nonetheless, Mohammad Ali Menhali found the back of the net in the 90th minute and the visitors scored 2–0.
With this match, FC Goa wanted to mark their first win in AFC Champions League by defeating Al Wahda, but the Indian team failed to register a win. However, three points were recorded after being drawn in three matches and losing several matches.
Already calculating a place in the playoffs, FC Goa played the match without their foreign players and also missed the services of Spanish coach Juan Ferrando, as he was allowed to move out of the country, because of COVID, the world flights from India were banned at the level due to epidemic-19.
The Indian Super League did not have a clear chance in the first half, but Al Wahda tried to attack regularly at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and managed to defend well.
Before the match, Ferrando sent best wishes to his players through a message on Twitter: “Good luck to our @FCGoaOfficial boys and technical staff before tonight’s match. Make sure we are all proud of you and no one will evaluate your performance based on your game when you have already shown so much throughout the season. make it matter! #FCGoaInAsia”
Persepolis FC of Iran won the group by 15 points, beating Qatar’s Al Rayan earlier that day. Al Wahda also qualified for the knockout as the top three runners-up with 13 points.