Odisha FC lost points for the third time in a row.

Josep Gombau’s Odisha FC got a hard-earned draw against Chennaiyin FC in Chennai to get back into the top six overtaking Bengaluru FC. It was a game marred with a number of officiating blunders. Yet, for neutrals, the game proved to be a highly interesting affair. The draw virtually ended any chance of Chennaiyin to get into the top six as they languish in eighth place with 18 points from 16 games. For Odisha, this one point took them to 23 points, one above Bengaluru with both teams having played the same number of games.

After the game, Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau attended the post-match press conference. Edited excerpts from the conference are as follows.

On today’s draw

Gombau took the draw positively as it took them above Bengaluru FC on the points table. He asserted that this was a good point playing away from home.

“It is a good point away from home. We need to compete game-by-game and at the end of the season, we will see where we are. We will try to finish in a spot so that we can play in the playoffs. This point that we got today here in Chennai is a good point knowing that Chennaiyin created a lot of chances. In the last part of the game, we were trying to defend the point. I am also happy that we played with many players. This shows the strength of the team.”

On Odisha playing their third consecutive away game

Josep Gombau said that it was not easy to consecutively play away games. At the same time, he sounded positive about playing three home games from among the remaining four games. He said, “At home, we do well. It is not easy to get points away from home. This was our third consecutive game away from home. We played these games in three difficult places, in Bengaluru, at ATK Mohun Bagan, and then here. It was not easy. And the good thing is that from among our last four games, three are at home. We will be optimistic, we will go game-by-game. We have to have this hunger to be in the playoffs.”

On the mistakes made by the officials

Gombau expressed his thoughts on the game’s officiating and his and Brdaric’s reaction to the referee’s decisions. He said, “It is difficult to be the referee. In these moments, when we need to get points, it becomes even more difficult for the coaches. They (referees) do the best that they can. But it is true that when you are inside the pitch playing a game, your heart is beating very strongly. Our (Gombau’s and Brdaric’s) reaction was normal because both of us are passionate and we try to do the best that we can.”

Update on Osama and Odisha’s games coming thick and fast

Josep Gombau gave updates on Osama Malik’s injury and talked about Odisha having to play many games within a short period. He stated, “We need to check about Osama. He had an injury in an action which he could not stop. But it was normal to sub him as he was feeling the injury. We play again on Monday. That is why I used all of our substitutes. We used three wingers today. I make one of them play 90 and the other two 60 and 30 (respectively). By Monday, Jerry will recover and will be ready to play. I wanted to rotate that is why I substituted Issac with Raynier as they give us similar gameplay.”

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Telegram.