Indian Football

FC Goa Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Hailed by AFC for Making Most Saves in Champions League West Region

Arjun Singh Devgan
India v Bahrain - AFC Asian Cup Group A
India v Bahrain - AFC Asian Cup Group A / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Indian Super League (ISL) side, FC Goa might not have made it beyond the group stage of the AFC Champions League this season, but they did show a lot of fight and in Dheeraj Singh they had arguably the best goalkeeper in the recently concluded matches.

Dheeraj, who moved to FC Goa from ATK Mohun Bagan during the January transfer window of the 2020-21 ISL, was impressive in the group stage and ended up making the most saves - which is the maximum by a goalkeeper in the West Region despite missing one game against Persepolis FC, while also having to be replaced in Goa's last game against Al Wahda due to injury.

Dheeraj made 26 saves in the competition, ahead of the likes of Mohammed Al Owais (Al Ahli Saudi FC), Ahmed Basil (Al Shorta), Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri (Esteghlal FC) and Adel Al Hosani (Sharjah) - who registered 24, 19, 18 and 17 saves respectively.

“FC Goa's young goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh certainly made a name for himself on his continental debut, pulling off a tournament-leading 26 saves in just five games, among them a number of memorable efforts that earned high praise from impressed observers,” AFC wrote on its official website.

That Dheeraj is only 20-years-old goes to show that he is a generational talent and while he is yet to make his India senior debut - he will be expected to be the custodian for his country for well over a decade.