The Nizams succumbed to a third defeat of the season.

Odisha FC handed a 3-1 defeat to Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL 2022-23) on Friday. The contest at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar was close but the hosts had the edge over the visitors. It was a lukewarm performance by Manolo Marquez’s side who were the second-best team in most departments.

The Hyderabad head coach admitted that Odisha FC were the better team. He told the reporters during the post-match press conference that the hosts were the deserving winners. The three points will help OFC mount a solid challenge to finish in one of the top six positions on the table. 

Here are the excerpts from the conversation with Manolo Marquez in the post-match media interaction:

Odisha FC deserved the win

Manolo Marquez was forthcoming in admitting that Odisha FC were the deserving winner of the match. He congratulated the hosts on the three points and said, “The summary of the game is easy, they were better. Not too much to say about the game, Odisha FC were better. It was incredible that the score was 1-1 at half time because practically we didn’t exist. But in the second half, we were better, we were in a better position. We wanted to change 11 players at half time but it was impossible. They deserved to win.”

Difficult to finish second

Speaking of the larger picture, Marquez explained that it will be difficult to finish in second ahead of Kerala Blasters, a team they play in Kochi soon. He said, “Till today, we had chances to fight for the League Shield. Of course, after this performance, it’s practically almost impossible and we’re only five points ahead of the team that we’ve to play in the last game in Kochi.”

“Everyone is thinking that we will finish second place, which would be a fantastic result. When the levels decrease we are a normal team and when our levels rise up, we are a very difficult team to beat,” he further added in the context.

Focus on the next game

Manolo Marquez was upset with the attitude of his team in the defeat to Odisha FC. Hoping that the next fixture will lead to a change in the attitude, he said, “We can only continue and try to play better in the next game and try to win against ATK Mohun Bagan in the next match.”

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