The Islanders’ head coach admitted that his team did not manage the situation well despite leading by two goals at a point of time during the game.

Mumbai City FC conceded two points as a late goal from Ishan Pandita robbed them off a victory against FC Goa. The Islanders opened proceedings with a strike apiece from Hugo Boumous and Adam le Fondre. However, Glan Martins’ stunning hit from over 30 yards helped the Gaurs inch closer to a positive result. Igor Angulo nodded home the equalizer soon afterwards, in the second half. However, Rowllin Borges converted a free-kick from Boumous in the 90th minute to restore the lead for Sergio Lobera and Co. However, Pandita calmly struck the ball into the net via Edu Bedia’s lofted pass to secure a point from the contest.

Points lost or a point gained?

Sergio Lobera was posed with the quintessential question after the draw, to which he replied, “Obviously, I feel we lose two points. Because in the minute 96 you have three points and in the last action in a throw-in, we lose two points. I think the biggest problem for us today is that we didn’t manage the situation well with 2-0 and give them the opportunity to come back to the game. It was difficult for us, but my team believed till the end, fought till the end.”

Lack of efficiency upfront

Rowllin Borges missed two clear chances to score before he finally netted in the 90th minute. Similarly, Mumbai created a host of opportunities to triple their lead in the initial 45 minutes itself. Pondering upon the same, the head coach said, “I think during the first half, we had chances to score the third goal and obviously if we score the third goal, the game is over.

“In the last minute of the first half we conceded the first goal. As I told you before, gave them the opportunity to come back to the game and increase their motivation. We need to be more clinical in these actions because we had enough chances to score more goals.”

Nervousness after Goa’s two goals?

Juan Ferrando’s men turned the tide around in style after conceding twice. Mumbai looked in a comfortable position to clinch the three points after Le Fondre’s goal. Sergio Lobera was probed whether he was nervous as Goa gradually trimmed down Mumbai’s advantage. “No, it is not about being nervous. I think we lost the opportunity to finish the game because we had chances.

“But, after that, our reaction was good. When we conceded the second goal we continued working, we continued believing and finally we scored one goal more. But, at the end, in the last action it was very hard for us to have conceded the third goal,” the Spaniard revealed.

Concerned about ATK Mohun Bagan catching up?

ATK Mohun Bagan will reduce Mumbai’s lead over them to merely a single point, if they defeat Bengaluru FC on Tuesday. The Islanders have somehow landed in this precarious situation after relishing a six-point lead over Antonio Habas’ men only two games ago. Naturally, this is bound to pile up some additional pressure on Lobera’s shoulders, given that an AFC Champions League spot is at stake. However, the 44-year-old denied any such apprehensions.  

“No, I don’t feel pressure. Our target is trying to arrive the final game against ATKMB with a lead of four points. But, if it’s not possible is not important because finally you decide all of it in the last game. Hopefully, it’s possible to achieve the four-point lead against ATK Mohun Bagan,” Lobera opened up.

He added, “They are doing a very good job. This is a very competitive league, but I am very happy as we have reached the playoffs. It’s a new record I think and I am very happy with that. But, we need to continue working and put our focus in the next game against Bengaluru. Because every game is very difficult, very tough and we need to think in the next game.”

Hitting FC Goa where it hurts most

Juan Ferrando admitted his side’s weakness during transitional situations whilst speaking to the official broadcasters after the game. Similarly, Mumbai were seen embarking on quick counter-attacks to disrupt Goa’s momentum on several occasions. Infact, Boumous’ goal was a result of Le Fondre releasing the attacking midfielder with a sublime through ball in an open half. Sergio Lobera was quized whether playing long balls during transitions was a specific plan that they devised for this match.

“We knew it’s possible to create chances in this action and we worked about this It was a very good job because in transitions we knew it was possible to hurt them and we created chances in this way. But, the problem is that we couldn’t win the game and obviously the most important thing was to get the three points,” the tactician disclosed.