Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goas attacking midfielder Brandon Fernandes said on Friday that there were several takeaways from the teams recent campaign in the AFC Champions League (ACL) Group Stage E, the most important being “confidence”.
FC Goa gave a good account of itself, drawing three games against top Asian club sides such as Qatar’s Al Rayyan and UAE’s Al Wahda, while losing the remaining three – two by narrow margins.
Though FC Goa finished third behind Iran’s FC Persepolis and Al Wahda and could not make the knock-out stage of the ACL, there were several positives like solid defence and good attacks, which helped the ISL side score two goals in the tournament.
“There are so many (takeaways). We grew in confidence with each passing game and by the end of the competition, a draw against the likes of Al Rayyan and Al Wahda were considered disappointments — the narrative had changed,” said Fernandes, who had a hand in both the goals scored by his team-mates.
“It was also a vindication that we can truly play at this level without compromising our philosophies. We had to defend and play without the ball a lot more than what we are used to. However, we kept believing in ourselves, prepared well for every game tactically and were able to do most things right on most nights. This was a great lesson as to how team football can help overcome any difficulties,” said Fernandes.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who has been with FC Goa for four seasons having joined them ahead of the 2017-18 ISL season, said there is no doubt that the experience of playing such big teams would help FC Goa immensely in the ISL 2021-22.
“There is no doubt about that. The belief and confidence in our own abilities have also taken an upswing. These things should bode well for the coming season,” he said.