I am not happy, we need to improve a lot of things: Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera
Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera expressed his disappointment at losing points in the dying minutes of the match against FC Goa.
Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera expressed his disappointment at losing points in the dying minutes of the match for the second consecutive fixture, as his team fell 3-2 to FC Goa in Matchweek 3 of the Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2023-24, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Fatorda Stadium) in Goa on Saturday.
In a thrilling encounter between the Gaurs and the Juggernauts, FC Goa defender Jay Gupta found the back of the net in the 96th minute of the game to secure all three points for his team. Mourtada Fall's two goals were not enough after Noah Sadaoui had given FC Goa the lead, resulting in Odisha FC's first loss of the season.
Reflecting on the game, Lobera was displeased as his side conceded a goal again in the closing minutes, following their dropped points against Mumbai City FC in their previous home fixture.
“We are disappointed. Again, we are losing points in the last minutes like against Mumbai City FC (where) in remaining two minutes we lost two points. Today, we lost three points. It was a crazy game. I think it was a game which was very, very open,” stated Lobera in the post-match press conference.
Analysing the causes for the defeat, the Spaniard said, “We started the game very well, but then we lost the ball easily. And I think when you are playing like this, both teams, everything is possible to happen during the game because there are chances (for the opponent). They (my team) were not keeping the ball, they were not dominating the game with the possession of the ball. We are strong doing this, (but) when we are losing the ball, recovering the ball, losing the ball, recovering the ball.. the game is open and everything is possible to happen. It was a crazy game. It was not the way we wanted to play. I expected a game with more beautiful football for both teams. I think both teams played a very open games, but the final result was for FC Goa, but it was possible for us to draw or win the game. But I am not happy, we need to improve a lot of things.”
Odisha FC have now suffered back-to-back defeats having previous suffered a defeat to Bangladesh's Bashundhara Kings in the AFC Cup. Lobera said it was difficult for his team to remain fresh for the all games in the AFC Cup and the ISL, given their hectic travel schedule, but pointed out it shouldn't be taken as an excuse.
“It's not excuses, but we are playing five games in 19 days in two competitions, travelling in the middle. Some players are tired, obviously, but these are not excuses. We can compete better. We had mistakes losing the ball in these situations. We need to try to avoid these because we are competing a very good team, one of the favourites in the competition. And when you give them chances, obviously they take advantage of all these.”
Expressing his gratitude to the fans who had traveled to Goa to support the team, the 46-year-old coach said, Lobera said, “Apologies (to the fans), because they are coming to help us, to support us. And obviously, it's disappointing. It's disappointing for them. It's disappointing for us. And (the) only (thing) I can tell, (is) thank you to come here to try to help us. And we are going to work a lot and come back stronger after the (international) break.”