Fatorda (Goa), April 30 (IANS) FC Goa were beaten 0-2 by Al Wahda in their final AFC Champions League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday night.
Owing to the Covid-19 situation, FC Goa were without the services of all their foreign players as well as head coach Juan Ferrando.
The result means that the Gaurs finished third in Group E in their maiden appearance in the tournament thanks to three points from three draws. They avoided the wooden spoon which went to Al Rayyan.
FC Goa’s foreign contingent was forced to leave for native Spain abruptly. The departure of foreign players meant all eleven players that took the pitch were Indians.
Al Wahda, coming into the game on the back of three successive wins, were full of confidence. They bombarded the Goan penalty area with bodies in the first half, leading to a host of decent chances.
Lucas Pimenta fashioned the first really big opportunity just short of the 15-minute mark following a corner, but his tame effort was easy for Dheeraj Singh to deal with in the Goa goal.
Omar Khribin was growing into the game, and he managed two good chances back to back.
Tim Matavz was the main man upfront for the Emiratis, and he had a good chance of his own just after the half-hour mark. Despite finding himself one-on-one with Dheeraj, the striker fired his shot over the bar.
The Gaurs did manage one decent chance of their own in the first half, which came following a free-kick that was only partially dealt with by Al Wahda custodian Mohamed Al Shamsi.
The follow-up shot came to Glan Martins, but Al Shamsi was sharp enough to block the effort from the all-action midfielder. Goa kept out the visitors for the rest of the half with some dogged defending in their own penalty area.
Khribin, however, scored in the 61st minute of the game. The forward was found inside the penalty area by Tim Matavz, and he smashed the ball home to make it 1-0 to Al Wahda.
Al Wahda got their second goal in the 90th minute as captain Mohammed Barqesh Almenhali made the Gaurs pay for a mistake in possession, his shot deflecting off Adil Khan and finding the back of the net.