- FC Goa became the first Indian club ever to directly qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage after topping the Indian Super League (ISL) points table.
- The club defeated Jamshedpur FC 5-0 to secure the top spot.
- Co-owner Virat Kohli and coach Clifford Miranda heaped praises on the team for achieving the feat.
The team finishing at the top by the end of ISL’s league stage has been guaranteed a place in the 2021 AFC Champions League. And FC Goa defeated Jamshedpur FC 5-0 to book the spot.
Ferran Corominas (11’), Hugo Boumous (70’ & 90’), Jackichand Singh (84’) and Mourtada Fall (87’) all were on the scoreboard as FC Goa ensured their top spot. In the process, they also won the ISL League Winners Shield, another new for the league.
And the Indian cricket team skipper and FC Goa co-owner Virat Kohli was ecstatic about his team’s success. The cricketer congratulated his club for the AFC Champions League group stage qualification on Twitter.
Big ups to the Gaurs on becoming the first-ever Indian club to qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage and topping the ISL League table! ??? Keep putting in the work. We are all behind you. ?? #BeGoa #FCGoainAsia https://t.co/r4ZPvgqNmf
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) February 20, 2020
“Big ups to the Gaurs on becoming the first-ever Indian club to qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage and topping the ISL League table! Keep putting in the work. We are all behind you. #BeGoa #FCGoainAsia” Kohli wrote in his post.
Echoing his boss’ words, FC Goa interim head coach Clifford Miranda that qualifying for the AFC Champions League is a ‘nice feeling’.
“Since its inception, the club has invested a lot in terms of finances and energy to be where it is at this moment. It’s just the beginning. Credit goes to the management, fans, players and everyone associated with the club,” Miranda was quoted as saying by the IANS.
“It is a nice feeling (qualifying for AFC Champions League). It’s something the club always wanted. It was one of the objectives of the club that we should be playing in the AFC Champions League,” he added.
When quipped on how the team plans to approach the AFC Champions League along with the ISL next season, Miranda said, “It’s too early at this moment. We are looking forward to our next objective and that is to make it to the final of the ISL.
“Of course the next objective is to win the ISL. About AFC and other preparations, it’s a long way from now. The club will decide how to approach the next ISL season and the AFC Champions League.”