FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando admitted that the 0-0 draw against Qatari side Al-Rayyan in their AFC Champions League match was a good moment for Indian football. The Gaurs’ await a tough challenge from Al-Wahada in their next fixture this Friday evening, at the Fatorda Stadium, in Goa.
It was already a historic moment when FC Goa featured as the first Indian team in the group stages of the AFC Champions League last Wednesday evening. Even though the ‘Gaurs’ were not expecting a win against Qatar’s Al-Rayyan they pulled off a historic draw to register a point in the Group E fixture at the Fatorda Stadium, in Goa.
The match was played in front of empty stands owing to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, with the home-advantage factor almost negated. FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando admitted that the 0-0 draw against Qatari side Al-Rayyan in their AFC Champions League match was a good moment for Indian football.
"This is a good moment for Indian football -- simply because now everybody will know more about Indian football. Five or six years ago when you were talking about Indian Football, many didn't feel much. I feel it's very important at this stage that the clubs work in the Academies and make their players aware of such a massive competition as the Champions League," said Juan Ferrando, as per an official AIFF release.
In spite of the contrasting domestic leagues of both countries, in terms of quality, FC Goa put up a spirited show against the visitors, coached by former FIFA World Cup winner Laurent Blanc. The FC Goa boss recalled how the players were constantly being reminded about the importance of the AFC Champions League during training sessions, which actually paid off.
"In the training sessions, we just kept reminding the players about the significance of the AFC Champions League almost every day.
We told them to pay attention as this isn't easy. We told them to pay attention as these are difficult games. We also told them to control their emotions. It was important to believe in yourself," added the Spaniard.