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We will try to achieve a second title in three years-Molina


The Spaniard credited everyone at the club for reaching their second final...

Atlético de Kolkata held Mumbai City FC to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the first semi-final at the Mumbai Football Arena on Tuesday to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate and enter the final of Hero Indian Super League 2016. Kolkata had to battle the odds after being reduced to 10 men towards the end of the first half with Robert Lalthlamuana being sent for an early shower. However, the 2014 champions produced a defensive masterclass to protect their 3-2 aggregate lead from the first leg and enter their second final in three years.

Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, head coach Jose Molina, in his first season with ATK, credited everyone at the club for reaching their second final. “I think ATK is doing a great job and the management is working to achieve a common goal and everybody is working in the same direction and people from all positions in the club are doing their best and we are trying to do something good and it is working well and we now have three semi-finals in three years and two finals, and now we will try to achieve a second title in three years,” Molina said.

When asked if Lalthlamuana’s sending-off was a blessing in disguise, the Spaniard said: “To me, to be honest, it is always better to play with 11 players than 10 and today maybe with 10 players we were stronger in defence and Mumbai didn’t have a lot of chances through our defence.”

Commenting on if the Kolkata side executed his game plan to a tee, Molina said: “Yes, in the second half and no in the first half. In the first few minutes they had too much space to play and [Sunil] Chhetri had a chance to score and we were not comfortable with the ball in the first 20-25 minutes and later we started to play better and with Robert sent off, the game changed and in the second half we stayed together and didn’t give them a lot of space and we fought, so I am absolutely happy.”

Kolkata’s starting line-up on Tuesday threw up some big surprises with the likes of Helder Postiga, Iain Hume and Sameehg Doutie, all on the bench. Molina though was quick bat away any suggestion regarding him resting his star players ahead of the final. “I don’t know who was going to play the final and what I tried to do today was to put the best eleven on the pitch and we had to travel to Mumbai, so there was not a lot of time to recover and we had a few players who did not play the last leg and I thought we needed some changes and all of them have been training very hard and we have to see who will play the final as we have to see how the players recover and we will play the best team in the final,” he said.

The 46-year-old also shared his thoughts on the on-field altercation between players from both teams as tempers flared following the final whistle. “I don’t know what happened and who started the fight. What happened was bad and we don’t have to fight and I don’t like that and I could not watch what happened as there was a commotion and that was not good,” Molina said.


Report and Photo Courtesy: ISL Media

Published: Wed Dec 14, 2016 01:29 PM IST


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