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Champions League

Al Wahda coach Henk ten Cate: FC Goa’s Dheeraj Singh is a very good goalkeeper

The 66-year-old feels that his side was unaccustomed to the humidity in Goa…

Al Wahda coach Henk ten Cate has hailed FC Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh following a goalless draw against the Goan side in a Group E clash in the AFC Champions League (ACL) on Saturday.

The Emirati outfit had opened their group stage campaign with a solitary goal defeat to Persepolis and are next set to face Al-Rayyan on Tuesday.

What Henk ten Cate said

“They (FC Goa) have a very good goalkeeper (Dheeraj Singh). We lost a lot of easy opportunities. In the first half of the match, we got three-to-four very good chances and we had to score them. The second half of the match, we controlled the match completely until the last minute,” the Dutchman highlighted Dheeraj’s injury-time block against Omar Khrbin’s attempt at goal.

“If we had scored up to 50% of the available chances, it would have been a very good result, but we wasted a lot of easy opportunities,” he lamented.

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What now for Al Wahda?

The former Ajax boss pointed out Goa’s humidity, just like Al Rayyan boss Laurent Blanc, put Al Wahda in an unfavourable position. But he has now set sights on the remaining four games in the 2021 ACL group stage.

“Humidity is undoubtedly an influencing factor because players lose a lot of fluids. Undoubtedly, teams with players who are fasting will face the same problem,” he spoke of the weather conditions in Goa which are not conducive for players observing Ramadan.

“We are trying our best to make the players look their best in these circumstances. Now we are working on recovering the players and we will make preparations for the next match directly. There is always a place for development and in these matches we talk to the players and we are still in competition as we have four matches. I hope that luck will be on our side during the upcoming matches,” ten Cate signed out.


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