The FC Goa interim coach heaped praise on the efforts of his players.

FC Goa almost scripted a famous comeback, but fell short of their aim to overturn the 4-1 deficit from the first leg against Chennaiyin FC in the semi-finals of the ISL. Following the game, FC Goa interim coach Clifford Miranda interacted with the media in the post-match press conference.

Despite the aggregate defeat, speaking on the performance, Clifford Miranda said, “I think we were in the game till it was 4-2. We created and missed a lot of chances till the 95th minute. We were the better side in the first half and the second half. I think it was a professional and fantastic performance from the players. We never gave up, we were down in the two games, but we came back strongly in the first half.”

“We went into half-time with the lead and then in the second half when you go in for more goals, something can happen and they scored from the set-piece. We came back again and we lost, but I will say that I’m extremely proud of the boys and the way they played, they showed character,” Clifford Miranda added.

Despite being one of the strongest teams in the ISL, FC Goa once again fell short of the target on Saturday night. When asked about the same, Clifford replied “I wouldn’t say it is pressure (that got the better of us), it is just the way we play. We play a very open game and that’s our style of play no matter whoever was here before, be it Zico or Sergio (Lobera). We always play expressive football and thereby run the risk of conceding goals on the break. But, I wouldn’t say it is pressure.”

FC Goa’s talisman Hugo Boumous had an injury scare and didn’t seem fully fit against Chennaiyin, but Clifford Miranda maintained his praise and adulation for the performance of the Moroccan midfielder. “Whatever time he was there it was enough for me. He gave absolutely everything. He was ready for the cause and I’m so proud of him and the other players. He was willing to sacrifice for the cause and that is not something you can see everywhere. I’m so proud of all of them,” he revealed.

Reminiscing on what has been a terrific season from the Gaurs, Clifford Miranda summed it up aptly by saying, “It’s been a great season, not just when I was at the helm but before it as well. We went out with the objective of winning the league and we did over 18 games. So, we were the best team over the 18 games that we played and we qualified for the Champions League. Playoffs sometimes is a lottery and you can’t determine the performance over two games.”

“We wanted to qualify for the Champions League and we finished first. It’s been a great season for the team and the players and I’m so proud of all of them,” the tactician signed off.