Clifford Miranda: Extremely proud of what the players achieved this season

FC Goa clinched a 4-2 win over Chennaiyin FC in the second leg of their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 semi-final clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday, but fell just short of securing a spot in the final. The Gaurs came into the match looking to overcome a massive 4-1 first leg defeat and almost managed to pull off a miraculous turnaround. However, it will be Chennaiyin who will feature in the final after edging out the Gaurs by a 6-5 aggregate scoreline.

At the post-match press conference, FC Goa interim coach Clifford Miranda lauded the fight shown by his players on the night and stated, “We were in the game till the end. We missed a lot of chances. We created a lot of chances in the first half itself. I think it was an extremely professional and fantastic performance by the players. We never gave up till the end. We fought till the end.”

“We were down 4-1 in the first leg. We came back strongly in the first half, took the lead, missed chances, scored chances. We went 2-0 up at half-time. We came out in the second half, and if Jackichand Singh’s shot had gone in, it would have been 3-0 and we would have been right there. It is part of football. We fought really well. We came back and hit the crossbar, their goalkeeper saved, they made goal line saves. I’m extremely proud of these boys, the way they played and the way they showed character,” added Miranda.

Despite carrying an injury, midfielder Hugo Boumous started the game for Goa and earned high praise for his dedication to the team. “I think whatever he gave in whatever time he was there, that is enough for me. We were 2-0 up and he was there. He gave absolutely everything. That’s the dedication of a player. He was ready for the cause. I am so proud of him as well as the other boys. He was willing to play and sacrifice himself for the team. Not many can do that and I am really proud of each of them,” Miranda said.

When asked about his team’s recent tendency to concede in the second half, Miranda claimed, “From what I know and how I assess the game, in the last three games of the league stages, we scored 14 goals and out of them, I think we scored 10-11 came in the second half. This is football. Even today, we conceded two but scored two as well. Sometimes you concede in the first minute, sometimes in the second half or later in the game. That’s the dynamic of football.”

The FC Goa interim coach concluded by reflecting on what has been largely a positive season for his club. “In my opinion, we had a great season. The primary aim of the club was to win the League Winners Shield (finish top of the league table). And we did that over 18 matches, which is not easy. I think it has been a great season. You cannot determine or summarise our performance over just two matches. It was an excellent season that we had. Our primary aim was to be in the AFC Champions League. I am extremely proud of the achievement of the players,” Miranda noted.

Read the Match Report here.

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