Reddy salutes Pune’s collective strength as Lobera rues misfiring strike force

FC Pune City emerged as 2-0 victors over FC Goa at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. The Gaurs had plenty of chances of their own but were denied by a combination of the woodwork and some efficient Pune defending. The win was the Stallions’ second within a week and takes them to within six points of the Gaurs in fourth.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, the Stallions interim boss, Pradyum Reddy congratulated his players for what he believes was their best performance of the season so far. “I think it’s probably one of our best performances this season, without a shadow of doubt. It’s because we managed to build upon the team effort we put in against Kerala. It’s very difficult to come back from such a strenuous journey and put in a performance against a team that has played fantastically this season and they had a 12-day break. So, we knew it was going to be tough and we knew we had to work hard defensively. But at the same time, we had to attack because the best way to keep them quiet was to make sure we possessed a threat as well. I thought we did very well,” Reddy said.

Pune’s defence managed to keep the best attack in Hero ISL quiet, despite conceding the joint-most goals in the league so far. Reddy revealed how he went about masterminding Goa’s downfall and praised the collective effort of his players. “I think a lot of talk before the game was that’s the best attacking unit and we were one of the joint-worst defensively this season. So, we knew we had to fix both ends of our game. So, the strategy was the same which was to be much more compact, and to work as a unit defensively. At the same time when we win the ball, I think today we were a lot more composed with the ball. We had a lot of possession. That helped us build attacks. It’s always fun against Goa. But it was a bit of a nervy affair in the first half,” he said.

On the flipside, FC Goa will be disappointed with their finishing in a match where they should have found the back of the net more than once. Their head coach, Sergio Lobera branded his team’s performance meaningless since they failed to score. “Ultimately, I think the team that took their chances on goal won the game. The game wasn’t comfortable for us today because we didn’t have the goal of the game, we didn’t have the luck. I feel after the loss today, we might be in the top four. And now I start feeling about the game against NorthEast United,” he said.

The Spaniard concluded his post-match conference by identifying the turning point of the match, which according to him, was always going to be the first goal. “I think it was about who scored first. It’s fundamental for a team to score first. We got chances, but we didn’t take advantage of it. And that is what happens in football,” Lobera added.

Click here to read the match report.

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