The FC Goa debutants will have another chance to impress the fantastic FC Persepolis when they face the Iranian side in the rematch of a Group E match in the AFC Champions League here on Friday.
After playing a 0-0 draw against Al Reyan of Qatar and Al Wada of the UAE, FC Goa lost to Persepolis 1-2 on Tuesday, and the two sides face each other again in three days.
Captain Edu Bedia gave FC Goa a surprising lead in the 14th minute before Persepolis responded with two goals (18th and 24th) shortly afterwards in a game dominated by the Iranian side, which finished last season.
The game of three games a week has led to fatigue for some players, and FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando said new legs will begin on Friday.
Bedia, who scored the first goal for any Indian team in the prestigious first-tier league, is a dubious starter in Friday’s match after receiving a knock.
“It can be difficult for all teams to play six games in 20 days, but it’s not such a big problem for us. We need proper preparation after every game so that we can play with the best possible condition,” Ferrando said before. match.
“We know that the next game will be difficult, but this is the AFC Champions League and the expectations are high. I am pleased with the players and they with the way they performed, although there are some areas that we need to improve.”
Speaking about the fitness problems facing his country, Ferrando said: “Edu Bedia has a big doubt tomorrow. He got hit by the (previous) match. It’s nothing serious, but we’ll find out soon. The physiotherapist and therapist are working hard. to breastfeed him to fit the fitness
“We will review the tactics tomorrow against Persepolis. We enter the match hoping to perform better than in our previous match. As head coach, my job is to put the best squad ahead.”
However, Persepolis will be confident of a fourth consecutive victory, as the champions of the Iran Pro League have considered the full package so far.
They started their campaign with a tenacious 1-0 victory against Al Wahda and showed their fighting spirit to come from goal down to beat Al Rayyan 3-1 before sending FC Goa.
“The results we have achieved so far are due to the confidence and good concentration of the players. Many may think that these points were obtained because we are in an easy group, but this is not the case. Our group is one of the most difficult.” said Golmohammadi.
“Before our game against Goa, everyone thought they were a weak side. But they are not. They showed good quality and they play very well, consistently, with high intensity and with heart.
“We will try to focus on defending the free kicks so that this is not seen as a weakness for Persepolis. The two goals we conceded from the clashes were rare and the fact that they happened twice could be a cause for concern. However, we need to address this issue. “
A win against FC Goa will bring Persepolis closer to the round of 16. The best team from each of the five groups and the three best runners-up qualify for the quarterfinals of the round of 16.