The Gaurs scored in the dying minutes to salvage a point from the match.
The sixth edition of the Indian Super League has had its fair share of dramatic finishes and the game between Kerala Blasters and FC Goa served up another, as a late Lenny Rodrigues goal gave the Gaurs a point. Head coach Sergio Lobera spoke to the media after the match.
Just when Kerala thought they had their first win since the opening day, Rodrigues cropped up in the box to salvage a point for the Gaurs. It was a fortuitous one for Goa, who were reduced to ten men for the second game in a row.
The home team customarily dominated the proceedings on the night, but the visitors didn’t seem to mind having got what they had intended to, since Messi Bouli put the Blasters in the lead at the stroke of the hour.
But, Sergio Lobera was visibly distressed at his side’s first half performance, terming it the “worst” he has ever seen since he became the head coach of Goa. Lobera stated, “The first half performance was the worst that I’ve seen in three seasons. We didn’t attack, we didn’t have possession. We didn’t play well at all. We are lucky to get a goal in the first half.”
Sergio Lobera added, “In the second half we were much better. We improved our performance, but it was tough with the red card for (Mourtada) Fall.”
The coach also lamented the absence of key players like Ferran Corominas due to injury and Ahmed Jahouh and Seiminlen Doungel as well as Fall in the recent game due to suspensions. He considers their absence to have had an effect on the team and the players.
The 42-year old asserted, “It is tough to miss key players to injuries and suspensions, but I have to work with what I have for the next match and I have to improve my team.”
“I’m proud of my players for getting a point out of this game, but it is very tough without our key players.”
The season so far has seen many nail-biting finishes and the inability of certain teams to close out games having taken the lead has been the trend. Lobera attributed the reason for the same to fatigue and the time needed to adapt to the sultry Indian weather conditions.
The coach specifically sympathized with the foreign players plying their trade saying, “It is difficult, particularly for the foreign players to adapt to the conditions. They become tired and it becomes difficult. The Indian players are a bit more adaptive, but it is tough for them also with the fatigue and weather.”
Kerala Got The Best Players From Every Team
Sergio Lobera praised his opponents on the night saying, “They got the best players from almost every team. They have done a lot to build a very good team. You can see the squad is made to win the league. They have very good players on their team.”
Goa having missed their chance to go second, stay in fourth place and now travel to Hyderabad to face the Nizams next Sunday. Meanwhile, eighth-placed Kerala Blasters travel to Mumbai to face Mumbai City FC next Thursday.