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AFC Champions League 2021: Juan Ferrando - Persepolis is four or five steps ahead of FC Goa

04:49 BST 24/04/2021
Juan Ferrando FC Goa Persepolis ACL 2021
The FC Goa coach admitted that his side made mistakes but defends his side's performance amid fatigue...

FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando lamented the injuries in his squad after the 4-0 defeat to Iran's Persepolis in a 2021 AFC Champions League (ACL) Group E clash on Friday night.

After picking goalless draws against Al-Rayyan and Al Wahda in the opening fixtures, the Gaurs lost back-to-back games against Persepolis. Ferrando feels that there is nothing much his side could do to avoid the defeat.

What Ferrando said

"It was a very difficult match. Firstly, because they are a very good team and secondly because a lot of (FC Goa) players in the last two days were exhausted. It's difficult when you have one day to prepare the game and the squad is short. It's not an excuse because we made mistakes in crosses, transition," he pointed.

"In the end, the score is normal because Persepolis is four or five steps ahead of Goa. Of course, I'm totally disappointed and sad today but the players tried to work 100 per cent. It's not possible to explain more about the players' effort."

Eight changes

Ferrando made as many as eight changes from the side that lost 2-1 against Persepolis on Tuesday. While three of the four goals were due to individual errors, the Goa coach felt that the psychology of the players took a hit after they conceded the second goal on Friday.

"Seriton (Fernandes) couldn't train. He is very tired. James (Donachie) and Ivan (Gonzalez) were in the 11 and maybe Ivan is injured. Sanson (Pereira) continued but with a low battery. The midfielders, Glan (Martins) and Brandon (Fernandes) were exhausted. The same with Jorge Ortiz. In this case, it's only recovery for most of the time.

"In my opinion, after the second goal, it's difficult for the psychology of the players. The players are tired and you know this is the last week. In the end, the problem is that we don't have two or three days to prepare. But it's the same for Persepolis, Al-Rayyan and Al Wahda."

What now?

FC Goa play their last two games in the group against Al-Rayyan and Al Wahda on Monday, April 26, and Thursday, April 29, respectively. Goa's only chance of progression is to be among the three best second-placed teams in the group from the West Zone.

"My point of view is to change the mentality of the team. Our most important target today (against Persepolis) was to have no injuries but for sure at least two players had problems. We'll see tomorrow. It's difficult," Ferrando signed out.