FC Goa’s assistant coach and Indian football legend Clifford Miranda has expressed his pride in seeing his team perform well in their debut AFC Champions League this season.
The Gaurs ended their campaign with a 0-2 loss against AL Wahda from UAE in their final group game on Thursday in Goa.
With no head coach and rest of their foreign players in their side, FC Goa fought well for the first hour of the game but the UAE based side eventually proved to be too strong.
Miranda led the side and after the game, he hailed the all Indian side’s effort. As quoted from Goal, Miranda said, “It is always difficult when you don’t have players who have been playing regularly for the past few games. On the flip side though, it was an opportunity for the other players.”
He then hailed his side by stating, “I am very proud of these players that they played extremely well, they played to their maximum. Maybe with a little bit of luck here and there, we could have got a result but then we were up against one of the better teams in Asia who are several levels above us.”
The former Indian star then mentioned that the absence of head coach Juan Ferrando did not have an effect on the team’s strategy for the game.
Miranda said, “To be honest, it was nothing different. We had a set plan made by Juan (Ferrando). As the boss, he makes the play and on the field, both of us execute it and it was the same thing today. He made a plan and I just had to execute it and that was not difficult. The difficult part was to play matches every two days.”
Finally speaking about FC Goa managing to finish third in their group on their debut AFC Champions League campaign, Miranda said, “When the draw was announced, who must have thought that FC Goa will finish third in the group and have three points. Nobody gave us a chance playing against last season’s runners-up Persepolis, Al Rayyan and Al Wahda.”
He concluded by giving credit to the players as he said, “Credit to the boys for doing such a fantastic job with so many difficulties. We have been in the bubble for the past seven months. It is a fantastic performance by the players and the credit must go to Juan (Ferrando) as well as the club for making this step in the premier tournament in Asia.”