The Odisha FC head coach also heaped praise upon Nandhakumar Sekar, who scored the winner.
Odisha FC and ‘thrilling ending to a game’ are gradually becoming synonymous with each other. It was again a thrilling last-minute winner from Odisha’s Nandhakumar Sekar that saw the Juggernauts have the last laugh in a see-saw game. At one time, Odisha was 2-0 up. From then on, Chennaiyin FC made a superb comeback to equal the score in injury time. When everyone thought that the match is inching toward a draw, Josep Gombau’s troops had different intentions and scored through Nandhakumar in the dying moments of the game to seal a memorable win.
After the game, Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau addressed the post-match press conference. The following are edited excerpts from the conference.
Gombau’s reaction to the game
Gombau expressed his thoughts on the game in the post-match press conference. He stated:
“First of all, we are very happy to have got the three points. I think the first half was very good for us. We dominated the half. We scored a goal and I think we had a couple of more chances to extend our lead. The second half was more equal. We got a penalty. After that, Chennaiyin pressed us a lot and did very well. They are a very good team with a very strong winning mentality.
He continued, “After that, winning from 2-2 makes me and my players happier. I think, normally, when you concede two goals after going 2-0 up, especially in injury time with all those events with floodlights, a team’s performance level decreases and the team loses the game. Today, we have shown a strong mentality. Even with 2-2, we hoped and tried to score the third goal and we did that. This again showed the mentality that the boys have.”
The tactician added, “We won the game. We are very happy because these three points are very important. As you know, the table standings are very very close. If we would have lost today, Chennaiyin would have got one point ahead of us. By winning, we are now five points ahead of Chennaiyin. I am very happy and proud of the way the players fought till the last minute to win the game.”
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Gombau on Nandhakumar Sekar
Nandhakumar Sekar is emerging to be one of the revelations for Odisha this season. On being asked about him, Gombau said:
“We all know that Nandha is a very important player for us. I see in him a lot of quality. I believe in him. We are a team, whoever does the job. It’s not just if you score a goal or not. There are other aspects as well, for instance, how much you run. Nandha ran a lot today and he is also very quick. We are also very happy with Jerry because the last goal came from Jerry’s pass that Nandha finished. Both wingers played well today. In the last game also, these two players scored the third and the fourth goals.”
Message to the fans
After today’s inspiring win, Josep Gombau stated that he is very happy to be able to play such a good game in front of fans. He said:
“I think it is excellent. We are very happy to be here. They support us. We would like to make them witness more games like today in which we won the game in the last moment. We also want to make them enjoy the games so that they will want to come back. Game by game we will bring our best. We cannot control every week whether we win or lose the games. But what we can guarantee is that we will fight till the end in every game.”
Plan for the upcoming days
At the presser, Gombau talked about his plans for the next few days. He stated:
“Tomorrow is a break day for recovery. After that, we will have a couple of days off because we have been playing for a long time. I think the most important thing now is the spirit of the team. In the next couple of days, I want my players to refresh their minds.”