Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera praised his team for their hard-fought victory against NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Diego Mauricio's first-half goal proved to be the sole difference in the game. After a lacklustre first half, NorthEast United FC applied significant pressure on the hosts in the second half but couldn't find the finishing touch to convert their efforts into goals.

The result propels Odisha FC into the top half of the ISL table with three wins from six games, marking their second consecutive victory after a winless streak in their previous three matches. Reflecting on the outcome, Lobera expressed his delight with his team's ability to secure the three points.

“Today’s game, the most important thing is the three points. I think we played very well in the first half. We dominated the game, we kept possession of the ball, we generated a lot of chances to score the second goal. It was not possible to score the second goal, but the performance of my team in the first half was very good. I’m very happy,” he said in the post-match press conference.

”In the second half, we suffered a lot. We played against a very good team also. We had our plans, but the opposition team also had their plans and they put a lot of pressure on us. We were obviously a little bit tired, we suffered but a winning team needs to know how it’s possible to suffer to get results. I preferred better (performance) in the second half but I am proud of my players because they made a big effort to get the three points,” he added.  

This marked Odisha FC's second clean sheet of the season since their opening victory against Chennaiyin FC. Lobera expressed his satisfaction not only with the clean sheet but also with the relentless effort put in by his players as they withstood the pressure from NorthEast United FC.

“We got a clean sheet, it’s always good (to get one). But we could have improved the level of our performance in the second half. But when you are thinking as a coach.. The first thing that comes to my mind is that I can't ask more of my players. They put in a big effort in a difficult situation against a good team. They deserved the three points for this effort,” Lobera explained.