FC GOA ARE going to face tough compeitition on their historic Asian debut this April.
Following the AFC Champions League's expansion from 32 clubs to 40, India were awarded a slot in the group stage, instead of their usual place at the qualifying stages. As the champions of ISL 2019-20 league stage (top division league), FC Goa earned the honour of representing India at ACL 2021.
The last time a club from India participated in the main stages of the Asian top club football competition, it wasn't even called ACL yet. In the Asian Club Championship of 1999-2000, Mohun Bagan won the first round before getting knocked out from the second. Since then, India's presence at this prestigious competition has been reduced to appearances at the AFC Champions League qualifying stages.
But earlier today, India announced their historic return when FC Goa were slotted into Group E at the official ACL 2021 group stage draw ceremony. The matches will be played at a central venue between 14th and 30th April.
The Gaurs will face a tough challenge as they'll be facing off with some of the accomplished clubs from West Asia. Let's take a look at them...