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We dominated and generated numerous chances, says Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera

Published at :April 23, 2024 at 11:58 PM
Modified at :April 23, 2024 at 11:58 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL media)

Gourav Samal

Sergio Lobera also mentioned his happiness to see a lot of home fans.

Odisha FC registered a hard-fought victory against Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their first leg of the semi-final of Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Kalinga Stadium. Sergio Lobera’s side was consistent with their brilliant defending throughout the match.

The match began with a promising start by both the teams. Mohun Bagan took the first lead with a goal by Manvir Singh in the third minute of play. Odisha also didn’t hold back any longer and replied with an equalizer by Carlos Delgado in the 11th minute. Roy Krishna then charged in to help Odisha move ahead in the game with a goal in the 39th minute of play. 

The second half was all about the game moving forward with each team looking for an opportunity to capitalize on. Although both teams faced setbacks with one of their players being shown a red card, they kept their opponents silent for the final duration of the game. In the end, Odisha FC moved to the second leg of the semi-final with a 2-1 win over the Mariners. 

The post-match press conference was attended by Odisha FC’s head coach Sergio Lobera who expressed his satisfaction with their win today

Reaction of players after the first goal

Odisha FC conceded an early goal in the match. But they replied strongly with an equalizer. When a question was asked regarding the players’ reaction after the first goal, Sergio Lobera replied, “It wasn’t easy for them to react instantly after conceding a goal in an important match. But I’m happy with my players, the way they replied to it.”

“We continued to be loyal to our style of play and tried to dominate the game. We dominated in a lot of phases and generated numerous chances. If you want to win big games, you need to have this mentality, this character and the team showed in a very difficult situation”, Lobera added.

Advantage for the side

Odisha will enter the second leg of the semi-final with the confidence of a win on their end. They will just require a draw to move to the final of the league. Sergio Lobera said, “We will have a bit of an advantage as we won one game. But if we will play there thinking about this then we might lose the game. We need to have the same mentality when we go to Kolkata for the next game.” 

Delgado being sent off

Both Mohun Bagan and Odisha’s one player was sent off from the field. Mohun Bagan lost Armando Sadiku while Odisha FC played without the service of Carlos Delgado after the 47th minute. Sergio Lobera stated, “It’s painful to lose one player like Carlos during the match. I had a lot of doubts about the second yellow, but this is football, we need to be ready for challenges.”

Playing in front of supporters

Odisha FC’s campaign at the Kalinga Stadium has come to an end with today’s match. The support of their fans has been thrilling throughout the season.  

“It was amazing to play in front of a lot of supporters in the stadium. When you play against such a crowd, you play for something important. As of now, we are enjoying the moment and not feeling the pressure. Hopefully, we can get the victory at their home match also, as we did before”, Sergio Lobera added. 

Diego’s injury 

Diego Mauricio has been taking the field for just a few minutes in the last two matches. When a question was raised regarding his injury, Lobera stated, “We have some days now. The medical staff are doing a good job. I think he will be completely fit for the next game.”

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