The FC Goa tactician also shared why he didn’t field Noah Sadaoui in the starting XI.

FC Goa lost their away fixture to ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL 2022-23 by a narrow margin. Dimitri Petratos drew first blood for the home side in the ninth minute. However, in the 25th minute, Carlos Pena’s side drew level. However, a mistake in the early moments of the second half proved to be the decider for this game.

Here’s what FC Goa boss Carlos Pena said in the post-match press conference.

What went wrong?

FC Goa, after conceding first, came back into the game showcasing their usual brand of football. But as mentioned before, a mistake cost too much for Carlos Pena’s side.

The mentor stated what went wrong for the team: “It was a very equal game. In the first half, they scored first. The team came back after that and we started to control the game and playing in the upper half. But in the second half, we committed a big mistake. We passed back and lost the ball and they punished us. We created less chances than we wanted and tried to do some changes into the pitch. But it didn’t work.”

Not fielding Noah Sadaoui in the starting XI

Perhaps FC Goa’s best performer this season, Noah Sadaoui wasn’t given a start by the tactician. He later came on in the second half, but failed to impact the proceedings.

Carlos Pena shared why he didn’t field the Moroccan: “It was a tactical decision. We thought in the second half Noah could help us with the spaces. I decided to put Alvaro (Vazquez) to control the ball because I felt he would give us more continuity. But after that, we had problems with injuries in the second half and we couldn’t follow the plan.”

Making the top-four

Even after the loss to ATK Mohun Bagan, Carlos Pena sounded confident of grabbing a playoff spot. He said: “We are going to be in the fight for the playoffs. Now 10 more games remain. We have all the chances to be in the top four. Today we can be sad; we can see the things are difficult for us. But tomorrow is another day. We’ll keep on working.”

January transfer window

When asked if FC Goa will make additions to their arsenal in January, the mentor stated: “Yes, we are paying attention to the market. It’s not easy in India. We will pay attention if we can improve our squad.”

Reinforcements in defence

A mistake proved costly for FC Goa as they were handed their fifth loss of the season.

When asked if the management is planning to reinforce the defensive third in January, Carlos Pena said: “They punished one mistake of us in the second half. After that it was normal, it was counter-attacks. We had less players in the defence and more in the opponent’s half. We will not reinforce the defensive third just because of these mistakes. If someone comes who can improve the squad, we will try to sign him. If not, we will continue with the same players.

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