The Juggernauts lost points for the third time in a row.
Odisha FC’s beginning to the second half of the ISL 2022-23 season did not go as per plan. Josep Gombau’s side lost the game despite being the better side for the first 65 minutes. It was a solitary goal from Kerala Blasters’ Sandeep Singh that downed the Kalinga Warriors, keeping them in sixth place. Kerala, with this win, climb to the third place with 22 points.
Even though Odisha were clearly the better side in the first half, a lack of composure in the attacking third saw the side being unable to score for the third game in a row. Kerala took full advantage of this and scored late in the second half to clinch invaluable three points. After the game, Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau addressed the post-match press conference.
Edited excerpts from the conference are as follows.
Overall reaction to the game
Gombau expressed his opinion on the game at the presser. He said:
“I think we are doing well. The first half was good. I think we controlled the game and played our way against a strong side like Kerala. We should have scored a goal when we had our chances. The second half became more equal and in the last 30 minutes, Kerala had more chances. They were in better shape than us. That is the game of football, if you don’t score, you get punished.”
The tactician added, “For sure we need to score goals to win games. Small details bring the game to your side or not to your side. Now, we did not score a goal and they scored a goal from a moment that is more of our mistake. That was good action from the opposition team. We need to keep working. And if we can keep working, we can surely score goals.”
On the dip in the team’s performance in the second half
Josep Gombau talked about his side’s dip in performance in the second half, precisely in the last 25 minutes. He stated:
“I think the second half was more difficult. We got tired a bit because we were pressing very strongly from the beginning. Gradually, to our disadvantage, Kerala got more involved in the game. But still, I think we had a good game. I can’t say anything to my players because everybody gave their 120%. We will see the game, analyse it, and see what we can do to improve.”
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On losing points in the last three games
Odisha have collected only one point from their last three games. Gombau talked about his feeling of losing points in three consecutive games. He said:
“This is football. Sometimes, you win three games in a row, and sometimes you don’t win for three games. It is true that we played against strong opponents in the last three games in the form of Goa, ATK Mohun Bagan, and Kerala Blasters. In the last game, I think we deserved a bit more. For this game, I have a different perspective than others.
He added, “When I saw how all the players of my team played and worked, I felt happy for them. I cannot become a fan and see only the result. When the results were good, we tried everything to improve. Now with the results not so well, we will try to see what we did well. I need to see the big perspective and not just the result.”