The Gaurs returned to winning ways after three games and climbed back into the playoff places.
Jamshedpur started the match positively but it was Goa who took the lead somewhat against the run of play. The Gaurs’ head coach Sergio Lobera though insisted that his team were deserving winners on the night. “There were games where we were better but weren’t able to win. In today’s game we suffered quite a bit but a team needs to know how to win. Today the team learnt to suffer and how to play against a team that was hard to play against,” he told reporters at the post-match press conference.
While expanding on if he thought his side were lucky to have a first-half lead despite Lanzarote taking the penalty for their opening goal twice, Lobera added: “I think we haven’t had a great amount of luck in the league. I think we deserve more than what we got so far. For me it was not luck. Moreover, we had to take the penalty twice.”
Jamshedpur put on a valiant display and even breached Goa’s defence in the second half, prompting Lobera to admit that his side must improve defensively. “I wouldn’t complain much about the chances that we didn’t take but I would complain about the goal we conceded. We have to aim to keep a clean sheet and we haven’t achieved it as yet. We have been conceding goals from crosses and today the same thing happened. We spoke about this before the game, we have to improve defensively.“
When asked if he was surprised by Jamshedpur’s attacking approach to the encounter, Lobera said: “Not really. The last game they played in a similar manner. I’m pleased with the fact that we scored two goals against a team that has kept five clean sheets and only lost two games. It’s not easy.”
After scoring the first goal through a penalty, Lanzarote scored the second in style
The match was also marred with an altercation between both set of players at half-time but Lobera was keen to play down the incident. “Ultimately, what happens on the pitch should stay on the pitch. This is a league where the players know each other quite well. It’s a very sporting league as well. It moved to a point where things just boiled over,” the Spaniard said.
The 40-year-old concluded the media interaction by defending his midfield general Ahmed Jahouh who was booked for persistent fouling. “Jahouh is a player who’s got a yellow card before. I‘ve coached him before. I know he’s a player who can handle a yellow card. He took it up to the limit but he knew where the boundaries were,” Lobera said.
Steve Coppell believed that his men deserved points from the encounter. “Overall I thought we deserved the points. In the first half an hour, we stopped them from doing what they do and we had a couple of opportunities. I thought it would’ve been good if we would have taken advantage then. They’re a good side but I look at my team. If we play with the same desire and will to win, we’ll be alright,” he said.
The match had its fair share of controversies with a minor altercation breaking out during the half-time whistle, just prior to which Goa were awarded a penalty. Speaking on the incident, Coppell opined, “In quite a few ISL games, you have a few players diving around, a few players waving imaginary yellow cards. I mean, is that the way forward? Obviously, the real pressure point moment was when the penalty was given, I think things were said which incited the problem. I said at halftime, concentrate on the football. I think my team did that.”
Trindade scored with a stunning header
He further continued, “I hate complaining about referees. When we have two sides so closely matched like tonight, you want the difference to be a beautiful piece of football. You don’t want it to be a mistake and you don’t want it to be a refereeing decision. When the referee gave the penalty, I thought he may have jostled him. I just saw that on the TV and Andre Bikey clearly got the ball. We go in at half-time 1-0 down. The second goal was a good piece of finishing but could have been a tad offside. I feel hard done by because we played a good game. But you know we have to get ourselves ready for the next one.”
The defeat leaves the debutants rooted at seventh on the points table, though the Englishman doesn’t think his team is out of the reckoning yet. “We’ve obviously got to improve,” Coppell explained. “Our last five games were against the top five teams. The most important thing in the ISL is scheduling, as I said from the first day. Now we’re in a period of three weeks where we have six games. I think it’ll be fair to say that after those six games, we’ll definitely know where we’re at. It’s a great challenge for us.”
#ISLRecap of the FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC match
Renowned for having the best defensive unit this season, Jamshedpur’s solid backline has been breached four times in their last two matches, but the 62-year old does not read too much into it. “I knew we wouldn’t go throughout the season with clean sheets every week. But do I want to stay on the back foot for 18 games? No. We want to be on the front foot so that leaves more spaces at the back. So, say we conceded two goals but I say we conceded one goal. The score might say otherwise,” he said.
Before leaving, Coppell praised Lanzarote whose brace proved to be the difference at the end of 90 minutes. “(He is a) terrific player! You look at his record, his goals today. Both the teams got some quality players. Coro (Ferran Corominas), (Ahmed) Jahouh and the triangle in midfield, which a lot of teams will try to negate. Super finish (for the second goal)! You can’t question his ability,” he concluded.