The attacker is a vital piece in FC Goa’s puzzle under Spanish coach Juan Ferrando…
The 2020-21 season has been a mixed bag for FC Goa star Brandon Fernandes. The attacker had started the season on a good note in the Indian Super League (ISL) but an injury midway into the campaign meant that it was a stop-start campaign personally for him.
Fernandes regularly played for the Gaurs in the first 12 matches of the season before picking up the injury against ATK Mohun Bagan. He had appeared as a late substitute in the second leg of their semifinal tie against Mumbai City. The Goan footballer managed to provide three assists this season in the ISL but he did not score any goal
The injury-laden campaign in the ISL resulted in Fernandes’ not risked by including him in the Indian national team which travelled to Dubai in March to play two international friendly matches against Oman and UAE.
Brandon’s injury was a big blow for the Gaurs, who finished fourth on the points table this year and were knocked out of the play-offs by eventual champions Mumbai City. The Goan player over the years has become an integral part of the FC Goa side and is almost indispensable in the team.
In the last four seasons in the ISL, Fernandes has appeared in 62 matches for FC Goa where he has scored five goals and provided 18 assists. He is the second-highest assist provider in the history of the league, six behind his former FC Goa teammate Hugo Boumous who is at the top.
The best thing about the India international is his versatility as he can play in a number of positions – in midfield, on the flanks and also as a No.10..
The injury in the middle of the season did not dent his confidence even one bit as he has recovered extremely well and is back to his usual best in the AFC Champions League (ACL). The former Sporting Clube de Goa player has been in fine form and was one of the best performers for FC Goa after the first two matches of the group stage in their maiden ACL campaign.
He came agonisingly close to scoring his first-ever goal in Asia’s premier competition. He had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock against UAE’s Al Wahda in the second game but his shot from the edge of the box struck the goal post and come back. In the first match against Qatar’s Al-Rayyan, he had a passing accuracy of 98 per cent as he completed 41 out of 42 passes he played.
From a rising star just a few seasons ago to now an integral and indispensable member of the FC Goa side, the Goan star’s rise in stature has been immaculate. Brandon Fernandes’ contribution to his team is almost as good as any foreign player which is a huge value addition for a club in Indian football.
The Goan has already signed a fresh three-year contract extension with the Gaurs which will keep him at the club until 2024 and this certainly bodes well for the club.