AFC Champions League: A look at FC Goa's second hurdle: Al-Wahda

AFC Champions League: A look at FC Goa's second hurdle: Al-Wahda

Photo Credit: FC Goa Twitter

The UAE outfit led by Henk ten Cate will come into the tie at the back of a defeat.

FC Goa began their Champions League campaign with a commendable goalless draw against Al-Rayyan of Qatar. The Gaurs displayed not just a resilient defensive outing but also nearly matched their opponents in terms of possession. After facing a star-studded Al-Rayyan, the Gaurs will definitely come into this contest with boosted confidence, something that can prove to be a challenge for the Emirati outfit.

Despite this, the Gaurs cannot take this tie lightly. The club which was founded in 1974, is based in Abu Dhabi and plays its home games at the Al-Nahyan stadium. The club won the league four times in their history- in 1998-99, 2000-01, 2000-01, 2004-05, and 2009-10 seasons. Al-Wahda is a club that has contested regularly in the AFC Champions League. While they never have won the competition, but the club has decent records in the top club competition of the continent:

In 2004, the club made it to the quarter-finals of the competition.

In 2006,2008,2010,2011,2017,2018, they couldn’t make it past the group stage.

Their worst outing in the competition was in 2015 when they were knocked out in the qualifying playoffs, losing to Al-Sadd of Qatar on penalties.

They made it to the round of 16 in 2019 and their best outing was in 2007 when they made it to the semi-finals. Due to several players getting infected from COVID-19, the club was unable to participate in the 2020 edition of the competition and thus they came after a gap into this competition.

The club finished 5th in the UAE Pro League last season, made it to Round of 16 of President’s Cup and Quarterfinals of the League Cup.

This season their form has seen a dip as they are at 8th position in the league with 35 points from 23 matches. With three games remaining, ten Cate has a mountain to climb to make it to even playoffs of the Champions League next year.

The recent form for sure suggests that Al-Wahda will not be at their best and this can be a tie where Juan Ferrando and his men can look for points to make a step ahead in their journey to the next round.

A win or even a draw against Al-Wahda will be alarming for Persepolis, who are favorites to top the group and FC Goa will have an added psychological advantage over the Iranian outfit when they meet next.

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