India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday took to social media to wish Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa for booking a berth in the group stage of AFC Champions League. The Gaurs drubbed Jamshedpur FC 5-0 in their ISL match in Jamshedpur to achieve the unprecedented feat.
“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,” tweeted Kohli.
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
With the win on Wednesday, Goa consolidated the top spot in ISL table with 39 points, six ahead of second-placed ATK, who have just one match left to play.
As per the revised criteria, the top team at the end of the league stage of ISL will get a guaranteed berth in the 2021 AFC Champions League and hence the Gaurs will make it to Asia’s top-tier club competition.
Notably, Indian clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have played in the Asian Club Championships but no team from the country has ever played in the group stage of AFC Champions League since its introduction in 2002.
In addition to winning the Champions League spot next season, FC Goa will also receive the ‘League Winners Shield’ and a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh for winning the league phase.