Virat Kohli, Akshay Tandon raise a toast as FC Goa realize historic Asian dream
FC Goa, on Wednesday, etched their name in Indian football history as they became the first-ever Indian club to secure a spot in the AFC Champions League group stage following a 5-0 win against Jamshedpur FC in their final Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 league phase clash. Plaudits poured in from all over recognizing the Gaurs for their historic achievement, including congratulatory notes from co-owners Virat Kohli and Akshay Tandon.
Courtesy Wednesday’s win at the JRD Tata Sports complex, Goa also sealed a spot at the top of the Hero ISL 2019-20 points table and won the first-ever League Winners Shield, presented to the table toppers starting this season.
India cricket team captain Kohli took to Twitter to laud the team and wrote, “Big ups to the Gaurs on becoming the first-ever Indian club to qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage and topping the Hero ISL League table! Keep putting in the work. We are all behind you.”
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
Hailing the team’s historic feat and underlining the hard work which has gone behind it, Tandon, who is also the club president, in an interview with The Goan daily, said, “We are grateful and honoured by the opportunity to represent India at the AFC Champions League mains for the first time ever and we certainly won’t be taking it lightly. This was our goal for the last three years and now we have finally got there. It’s a feeling that is unexplainable and kudos to the players, the coaching staff and everyone associated with the club for achieving this incredible feat.”
“An unbelievable position to be in. We're lucky to have the players and the staff that we have and they are the reason we find ourselves here,” he added.
Goa staking their claim to become the first club from the country to earn a place in Asia’s premier club football competition also saw Indian football fans laud the Gaurs for the landmark achievement.
We are already seeing changes in the domestic structure of Indian Football, well done. 👍🏻 Congratulations @FCGoaOfficial for becoming the first ever Indian Club to enter the Asian Champions League.— Utkarsh Patankar (@utkarshpatankar) February 19, 2020
Very well deserved 👏🙌— Niranjan Desai (@feralious) February 19, 2020
Congrats @FCGoaOfficial.. you have played some good football this season and we'll deserved winners.. good luck in Asia..— Dhanush N A (@dhanush_na) February 19, 2020