The Spaniard shed light on the game and how his team reacted to pressure. 

FC Goa sunk Emami East Bengal FC 2-1 in the Indian Super League ISL 2022-23 season at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. Brandon Fernandes scored the opener in only seven minutes but Constantine’s men rallied back in the second half. Refereeing was once again the talk of the town as one particular foul by Aiban Dohling seemed to have been dismissed controversially. Afterwards, Dheeraj Singh’s howler, helped Cleiton Silva get a penalty which he then scored effortlessly. The Gaurs refused to sit back and settle for a stalemate as they went on the offensive. Edu Bedia’s set-piece prowess earned them all three points as his free-kick snuck in and settled the game for them.

Carlos Pena attended the post-match press conference to discuss his side’s performance. Here’s what the FC Goa tactician said:

Message for the fans and how the win was for the fans

FC Goa started off their campaign with an away game at the bustling Salt Lake stadium. A nervy win saw them take their first three points of the season which delighted the away fans. The Spanish head coach had this to say when asked how the fans’ support kept them going and if the performance was dedicated to them: 

“Yeah, now there is less time left to be with them in Fatorda. We know we have three games away. So, we’re trying to make the most of the opportunity; to ride to the first game in Fatorda with the best position in the (league) table. We feel their support (fans’) even playing away and of course, this victory and the three points are for them ”

On the revised format of the league and whether there is lesser pressure to qualify for the playoffs 

ISL 2022-23 will feature new changes to the playoff format which will include two more teams in the fight for the semi-final spots. The organisers have modified it so that the top six sides will secure automatic qualification for the knockouts. On the other hand, the top two clubs at the end of the league fixtures will secure a direct berth to the semi-finals. Carlos Pena denied claims that the pressure will be less as he justified Goa’s stature as a regular knockout participant when he replied:

“Well in football there is always pressure. We are FC Goa and usually, you can see us fighting in the semifinals and for the trophy. Of course, this is only one game and we need to be humble. It’s a good start and we’re going for the next one to get closer to our goal. ”

The character is shown by the players to come back and snatch three points

FC Goa played a good game despite their momentary lapses of concentration. Although Constantine’s boys could not exert pressure consistently, Pena’s men found a way back. After Cleiton Silva’s penalty equaliser, Edu Bedia’s curler sneaked in at Kamaljit’s far post unchecked, to restore the Gaurs’ well-deserved lead.  When it came to the undying determination of his contingent, FC Goa’s head coach Carlos Pena praised them as he mentioned: 

“I always say that there are different games. It is very difficult to control and dominate 90 minutes of the game. Sometimes you have to suffer and sometimes you concede injuries. We suffered in the second half for some minutes. But it’s about character also. It’s about defending and waiting for our chance. And I think it happened at the last minute. We were better and finally, we got the points”

On why and how FC Goa lost control of the match in the median period

Goa started the scoring and had the last laugh as they went out 2-1 winners in the ISL 2022-23 game at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. However, the Gaurs evidently lost footing for quite a bit of the game as East Bengal kept trying to claw their way back into it. Talking about how it went wrong for FC Goa in the middle stages, Carlos Pena stated:

“Absolutely, I agree with you. I think in the first half we started off with a great personality.  We tried to control the game by having the ball and playing in their half creating chances. Because of that we even suffered as he conceded a goal. We know the threats of East Bengal. They’re very good with positioning and in the first half, I think we countered these things very well. In the second half, they put on younger players and put pressure on us. But luckily, we finished in the half of East Bengal and got all three points. ”

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