The Spaniard insisted that his side weren’t lucky to get a point from the clash.
Mumbai City FC played out a gripping 2-2 draw against FC Goa in the first-leg of their Indian Super League semi-final encounter. Igor Angulo converted from the spot upfront, but Hugo Boumous levelled the scores with a stunning strike in the first-half. Saviour Gama restored the lead for the Gaurs through a clean shot from outside of the box in the 59th minute. However, Mourtada Fall scored another header via an assist from Ahmed Jahouh in the 61st minute to bring Sergio Lobera and Co back on level terms.
The match turned a bit chaotic towards the end, but both the teams did well to not concede a lead to the opposition. With all to play in the second-leg, the Islanders’ head coach Sergio Lobera addressed the media personnel after this match.
Lucky with the result?
Mumbai managed to scale their way back in the game after conceding twice. However, the tactician was asked whether he considered the eventual result of the contest to be ‘lucky.’
Disagreeing with the statement, Sergio Lobera said, “No, I don’t think so. I don’t think we were lucky. Because we had chances to score more goals. We need to be more clinical. We even had the control of the game, but we are playing against a team who is comfortable with the ball.”
“But we had clear chances, more than the opponent team and obviously I am not happy. I am not happy because the first thing, we didn’t have the control of the game enough for us. And the second thing, we had chances to score more goals and this situation not happen.”
Sacrificing Hernan Santana for Hugo Boumous
Sergio Lobera had to disrupt the stable centre-back partnership of Mourtada Fall and Hernan Santana to accommodate Hugo Boumous in the lineup. The Spaniard’s team selection has been quite unpredictable in recent games due to several reasons including player suspensions.
Commenting on the same, he remarked, “It was difficult, the selection of the players today, because I had very good players. I have very good squad and today I wanted to play more offensive because I think they are missing some players, some important players. We want to take advantage about this. But next game, we need to think again about the first XI. It’s not easy when you have very good players and a very good squad.”
Playing Mandar Rao Dessai out of position
The Spaniard fielded Mandar Rao Dessai in the right-back slot in absence of Amey Ranawade. The experienced full-back looked a bit uncomfortable at the alien position and this pick particularly intrigued the observers as the coach had the option to play Mohamad Rakip in that spot.
Clarifiying about the situation, the head coach stated, “The problem with Rakip is he is not fit 100 100%. It’s not possible to play. Because he has an injury and he is not fit 100% to play a game like today. Big effort from Mandar to play in an unnatural position against a very good player like (Jorge) Ortiz. And, big effort from Adam (le Fondre) for playing same position trying to help Mandar without the ball. I am very happy with the effort of Mandar and Adam, playing in non-natural positions.”
Could have done better to save Savior Gama’s goal?
Savior Gama’s strike in the 59th minute was quite appalling as he was provided open space by Mumbai’s defenders to take a shot at goal. None of the players closed down the young full-back as he neatly put the ball into the back of the net from a considerable distance.
Reflecting on the team’s defensive performance, Sergio Lobera explained, “Yeah, obviously when you concede one goal, you can do something better. In general terms, I am very happy with the effort my team has done. We need to prepare well for the next game. We have only two days and hopefully in the next game, we can improve some things.”
FC Goa’s rousing confidence after this game
Not many critics had given FC Goa a chance in tonight’s game, especially in absence of their creator-in-chief Alberto Noguera. However, the Gaurs stepped up to the show and matched a high-flying Mumbai team toe-to-toe throughout the game. Pondering upon whether Goa will be high on confidence after this result, Sergio Lobera quipped, “Maybe. But, we also (are high on confidence). We have a very positive mentality, strong mentality, in good moments, in bad moments. We’ve shown everyone this thing all season. We are ready for the next game.”