Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera expressed his disappointment as his team played out a 2-2 draw against Mumbai City FC despite taking the lead twice in the game at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Thursday.

The home side started the game brightly, dominating the Indian Super League (ISL) Shield winners in terms of ball possession. Jerry Mawihmingthanga put Odisha FC ahead in stoppage time of the first half, capitalising on a mistake by Mumbai City FC keeper Mohammad Nawaz. Mumbai City FC got back into the game just after the second half started through Rostyn Griffiths.

The Juggernauts restored their lead when Roy Krishna scored his first goal in an Odisha FC shirt. However, the Islanders showed their resilience and secured a point as Jorge Diaz scored just four minutes before the end of regulation time.

“I feel like we lost two points. When the team puts in (such) a big effort, they deserve something more,” Lobera said in the post-match press conference.

The Spaniard voiced his disappointment at letting the lead slip twice in the match, but he is pleased with the effort his players put in against the formidable Mumbai City FC side. During the press conference, he elaborated on his thoughts about the game.

“We competed very well against a very strong team like Mumbai City FC. We created our chances and worked better in the first half, keeping more possession of the ball. But in the second half, it was an equal game. In the end, I'm happy with the intention of my players. But, in terms of the result, I'm not happy. I feel we dropped two points. (Now) we need to analyse all the positive things we did in this game,” he stated.

Lobera felt his players could have performed more effectively in the defensive half, particularly during the crucial final minutes when they were protecting their lead.

Diaz expertly manoeuvred between two defenders to connect with a tempting delivery from Vikram Pratap Singh, and the ball grazed his shoulder before finding its way past Amrinder Singh.

“Especially, we could have managed the final few minutes better. Obviously, we were playing against Mumbai City FC. They had the ball most of the time, but we needed to defend better when we had possession,” Lobera said.

Odisha FC fans turned out in large numbers, and they remained in full voice throughout the entire 90 minutes. Lobera believes that such a supportive home environment is incredibly beneficial for the team, especially when they are facing a strong opponent like Mumbai City FC.

“The supporters are amazing. They're helping a lot in difficult moments, (especially) when you're playing against such a good team. We need to demonstrate to everyone that we're fighting and working very hard for them because, in the end, you know, the club, the squad, we're working for these people. I'm a little bit disappointed because they could have returned happier with three points against Mumbai City FC,” he commented.