FC Goa has been pitted alongside Iran’s Persepolis FC in Group E of the West Zone for the 2021 AFC Champions League, as per the draw that took place on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, ATK-Mohun Bagan has been placed in Group D with Basundhara Kings and Maziya FC for the 2021 AFC Cup.
FC Goa - by virtue of finishing at the top of the points table in the Indian Super League last season, qualified for the group stages of the AFC Champions League. The draw for the top-tier league took place last evening, with the Indian side pitted in Group E of the West Zone of the competition. Other teams joining them are Iran’s Persepolis, Qatar’s Al-Rayyan and the winner of the play-off between UAE's Al-Wahda FC and Iraq's Al-Zawraa SC.
FC Goa are currently at the third position in the ongoing Indian Super League, with them aiming for a play-offs berth yet again. Their coach Juan Ferrando feels that they have a lot of responsibility as the first Indian club to take part in the AFC Champions League, even though every match will be difficult.
"All the matches in the group stage are difficult. But in our case, it is a great opportunity for us to improve. It is a great opportunity for this club. There is a lot of responsibility on us because this is the first an Indian team is participating in the ACL,” said Juan Ferrando, after the AFC Champions League draw.
"It is necessary to be ready. We have a great challenge in front of us. This is the first time I am experiencing this competition. But I am just happy to get this opportunity. We have to focus on our tactical part and improve our mentality," added the manager.
On the other hand, ATK-Mohun Bagan has been placed in Group D with Bangladesh’s Basundhara Kings and Maldives’ Maziya FC in the 2021 AFC Cup, while the fourth slot is yet to be decided, with fellow ISL club, Bengaluru FC, in contention for the same. The Kolkata based side earned a place in the continental meet by virtue of winning the I-League last season.