Al Rayyan draw with FC Goa in AFC Champions League Round 1


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Qatar’s Al Rayyan drew goalless with India’s FC Goa in the 2021 AFC Champions League Group E Round 1 at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday.

Iran’s Persepolis defeated Al Wahda of the UAE 1-0 in the other Group E match on Wednesday.

Al Rayyan started brightly and had their first look at goal on six minutes with captain Yacine Brahimi pulling his effort wide from outside the area.

Two minutes later, FC Goa goalkeeper Dheraj Singh came off his line to block Naif Al Hadhrami’s close-range effort with the latter then feeding Yohan Boli, who made a run inside the box before firing wide.

Al Rayyan dominated proceedings with Boli in the thick of action once again just after the half-hour mark, but his effort from outside the area left much to be desired.

FC Goa finally got their shooting boots on five minutes before the interval when Alexander Romario’s attempt from distance was parried away by Al Rayyan custodian Fahad Younis for a corner.

The hosts then had to endure some tense moments in the closing stages of the half when Dheraj Singh was called into action once again to save Hadhrami’s angled long-range effort before Abdelaziz Hatim’s drive from distance sailed over the crossbar.

Eager to assert themselves in the game, FC Goa started aggressively after the restart with Sanson Pereira and Ivan Gonzalez operating deep in Al Rayyan territory but the visitors held firm as the score remained goalless at the hour mark.

Al Rayyan were left frustrated two minutes later when Brahimi exchanged a neat one-two with Boli on the edge of the area but the latter finished wide off the mark.

Next on the cards for FC Goa is another stern test against Al Wahda on Saturday, while Al Rayyan will face last year’s AFC Champions League runners-up Persepolis.