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Jorge Costa confident of making comeback, Sergio Lobera refuses to underestimate Mumbai City

Written by: Neil Talnikar

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Both tacticians had similar takes on the game on Saturday night.

In what turned out be a goalfest at the Mumbai Football Arena, FC Goa came from a goal down to thrash Mumbai City 1-5 in the first leg of their semi final of the Indian Super League (ISL). Rafael Bastos opened the scoring for the Islanders, but the Gaurs simply refused to give up.

After Jackichand Singh’s equaliser in the first half, centre-back Mourtada Fall scored twice from corners, while league top scorer Ferran Corominas and a late Brandon Fernandes strike mean Goa will have a four-goal advantage going into the return leg.

Watch: Mumbai City FC 1-5 FC Goa highlights

Post the thrilling encounter, the head coaches of both the teams addressed the media and discussed their chances in the game.  Jorge Costa of Mumbai City was naturally under a lot pressure as his side were absolutely dominated by the visitors and it certainly wasn’t the game anyone would have expected.

Yet, the Islanders started the match well and even scored the first goal through Bastos. However, explaining where it all went wrong Costa said, “I think we played good in the first half and against a team like Goa, I think it was one of the best first half displays in the entire season. I don’t think they have conceded many goals in the first half this season.”

“Then in the second half, we started making mistakes and you cannot afford to make mistakes against a side like Goa, who have a very good individual quality of players. I think this is a very heavy result for us.”

“I don’t believe in miracles and I do think we have the potential to change the result in the second leg. We must respect the club and our jobs and give our best,” he added.

The Portuguese went on to speak about how the team has accepted challenges and taken risks in the course of the season to reach the semi-finals. But, then expressed disappointment with the mistakes that the team made against big teams.

When asked about whether the mistakes came from the individual players or from the overall tactical display of the team Costa expressed his anger saying, “As you can understand, I am not in a good mood right now. So, if you want to ask this to me directly, please do so!”

“As for the question, if you ask me, it was the exact same thing I would have planned for any game. If you saw the game, you would know how good we played the first half.”

“But, then in the second half, we conceded two goals from two corners which we shouldn’t have. It certainly wasn’t the result we wanted, but as I said, I am still proud of the season overall.”

Furthermore, the 47 year-old was optimistic about his future at Mumbai City and also looked forward to the Super Cup.


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As for Sergio Lobera, the FC Goa head coach, he was naturally the happiest man there was, having got a splendid away result in the semi-finals. Yet, the Spaniard wasn’t getting carried away by the result saying, “We have seen a lot of things in the past and therefore, we must remain humble and stay confident. We have to approach the game with the same excitement and the same style as that of today.”

Having scored 12 goals against Mumbai, Lobera was asked whether his side had a huge advantage going back home in the return leg to which he answered, “I think we need to be respectful. We need to do the maximum possible as we can approaching the next game and that way we also need to respect the opponents.”

Asked regarding his opinion about the opponents he would rather like to face in the final Lobera said, “ I would rather not speak about the final because we have not reached there yet.”

Expressing his opinion on Naveen Kumar’s performance on the night the tactician said, “Yes, he did a great job today. Mourtada Fall was awarded the Hero of the Match, but for me I am very happy with the way the team worked together. We worked very hard, had many chances and scored five goals. So, I am very happy with the work of the whole team.”

Lastly, the 42 year-old was asked about whether he would be here for the Super Cup, as he wasn’t there last time. Answering to that he said, “Right now, we are only focusing on the semi-finals and when the decisions are taken with the club, probably then I can speak about it.”

Published: Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:32 PM IST

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