FC Goa vs AL Wahda: 5 key battles to watch out for

FC Goa is all set to play their second clash against UAE based club Al Wahda in the AFC Champions League. It was a good start for Juan Ferrando’s team as they stopped the mighty Al-Rayyan from scoring and ultimately ended on equal terms. Al Wahda lost against Persepolis FC in their first encounter

As Goa face UAE based Al Rayyan, it will be nothing short of an enthralling encounter as both sides would be vying to gain their first win. The match on Saturday will comprise moments to watch out for, hence FootballCounter takes a look at 5 key players who will have major roles to play in this fixture:

#1 Jorge Ortiz vs Lucas Pimenta-

FC Goa’s Jorge Ortiz will impose a significant threat against Al Wahda. With the absence of Igor Angulo and Alberto Noguera, the responsibility on Ortiz to deliver is much greater than ever.
The Spaniard had a praiseworthy ISL season, contributing six goals and two assists.

Even after being the youngest defender in the team, Lucas Pimenta’s contribution to Al Wahda’s defence is crucial. The 20-year-old has shown his quality in the Arabian Gulf League this year and is ready to give a tough fight to Jorge Ortiz on Saturday!

#2 Edu Bedia vs Omar Khribin-

Edu Bedia, who captained Goa and was one of the most influential midfielders in the ISL will be a player to watch out for. Bedia is a player who can score, assist and defend proficiently, and his versatility has led opponents to go haywire. One of the key contributions by Edu this year was his prolific passing rate, which has also led him to become the player who has completed the most passes in ISL Season 7.

The newest and most dominant midfield player of Al Wahda is Omar Khribin. His stats and offerings to the team have been outstanding; he has scored six times in just eight games. When Omar faces Edu, it remains to be seen who dominates the midfield.

#3 Ivan Gonzalez vs Tim Matavz-

Ivan Gonzalez will have to do the job he is good at, keeping the strikers away from scoring. The 31-year-old has time and again proved his mettle for the Gaurs and is expected to repeat the same against Al Wahda. His main target will be the dangerous Tim Matavz.

The top scorer for his team in the Arabian Gulf League with nine goals in 23 games this season is none other than Tim Matavz. The Slovenian can be a threat to any defence. Expectations will be high for him, to score and secure his team’s first win in the tournament.

#4 Brandon Fernandes vs Khalil Ibrahim Al-Hammadi-

The two attacking midfielders who are good at finding space and helping their team with goals and assists will be a great battle to watch.

Khalil Ibrahim, the captain and playmaker for the visitors, can team up with striker Tim Matavz and create huge issues for the opponent’s defence. He has five goal contributions this season in the domestic league. Whereas Brandon, also a complete team player, can thrash opponents with his perfect touches and passes!

#5 Ishan Pandita vs Fares Juma Al Saadi-

In the absence of their star goal scorer Igor Angulo, FC Goa’s young forward Ishan Pandita will try to step in his shoes. He had a fair season in ISL with four goals in 11 appearances.

But he will have to overcome Al Wahda’s most experienced defender, Fares Juma Al Saadi. The 32-year-old central defender has delivered when required, and he also contributes with goals and assists in addition to his defensive responsibilities.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: I always wanted to coach in India and be a champion here – Vincenzo Annese

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