The Gaurs once again proved their supremacy in attack as they outclassed the Blasters on their own turf.
Kerala Blasters succumbed to another defeat at home, as visitors FC Goa thrashed the David James-coached side in their recent ISL fixture. Ferran Corominas scored two goals for FC Goa in the first half, with some brilliant finishing and Manvir Singh scored their third. The Blasters managed to score a consolation goal, but that was not enough for the hosts to overcome the Goan test.
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Watch: Kerala 1-3 Goa highlights
James was seemingly frustrated with Kerala’s result. He said, “We lost to two of the best teams in the ISL. Goa is a very good team and when you give them an early lead, you know it is tough to battle to get back into the game. It is very frustrating.”
The former Liverpool shot-stopper also conceded that bringing in Seminlen Doungel for Slavisa in the 44th minute was not a tactical move. “No, it wasn’t. Commitment is one of the biggest things you need to have as a player. I think in the second minute, Slavisa picked something up. We had to make a substitution which was not planned.”
James also welcomed the international break as he said, “The best remedy for a defeat is to play quickly and get a win. Goa proved that after their defeat, they came back, two wins now. Now, we have got some time to do some work. I think it is a good opportunity to get some good training.”
He was also asked if the team lacked quality on the bench. However, the coach did not feel so. “Deep was on the bench because what he has been in last 10 days has been superb. The quality of the finishes by Corominas, great header for the first goal, great run and a great finish for the second goal. He is possibly the best player in the ISL. I think it is difficult to argue against that. Doungel heavily involved, (Cyril) Kali got involved. Vineeth had a shot on target. The quality on the bench was not an issue.”
Sergio Lobera was, understandably, happy with his team’s performance, but said he would have liked to have a clean-sheet. “I am very happy with the performance of the team. Today, we were the winners and we deserved the win completely. But, if you would like to demand more from the team, we would like to have a clean-sheet. We got more clear opportunities, which we failed to score goals. Even though we did not keep a clean-sheet, we defended extremely well today.”
The coach was also asked about Corominas, who scored two goals against Kerala. “He is very good. But, it is also because of the players he has behind him that allows him to shine the way he does. I think it is a combination of both them.”
Lobera was also wary of the threat teams at the bottom of the table could pose. He said, “I can’t think I am in playoffs. There is plenty of the league left to be played. There are a lot of teams fighting for it. It is going to take a lot of efforts from us. I think we are going through a good phase, we are doing very well. But, the league provides opportunities for teams to push through. The important thing is to go game-by-game.”