It was an equal game, the small details decided the result: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau felt the small margins made a big difference as his side went down 0-2 to Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, on Saturday. The Kalinga Warriors managed to keep the hosts quiet in the opening half, but an own goal from Shubham Sarangi followed byBipin Singh’s injury-time sealed the deal for the Islanders.

Gombau’s side suffered their first defeat of the season after opening their Hero ISL campaign with a thrilling win over Jamshedpur FC. However, Gombau stated it was an equal game despite the result being in favour of Mumbai City FC.

“It was a very good game between two sides who like to play with the ball, ' he said in the post-match press conference.

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“It was an equal game and the small details decided the result. The second goal arrived in extra time when we were trying to change the result (in the final stages). We had our chances and they had their chances (too). In some moments, Mumbai City FC had control of the game and in other moments, we had more control. It was a nice game of football,” he added.

During the opening goal, Odisha FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh made clever use of his legs to deny Chhangte’s grounded shot, but the ball ricocheted in off defender Shubham Sarangi and rolled inside the goal. Gombau, though, felt the opener was due to his side’s lack of pressing.

“Both sides wanted to play a certain way of football, trying to attack and build from the back,” the Spaniard said on the broadcast after the game. “I told my players at half-time that the game will be decided by small details. One of the small details during their first goal was that we didn't press them in the moment where it was needed to. These are individual mistakes and after that we got punished. But the good thing is that we know what mistakes we made and we will learn from them.”

Talking about Odisha FC’s ambitions for the ongoing season, Gombau said the minimum target was securing a place in the playoffs, but was wary of stiff competition from the other Hero ISL sides.

“The league has grown a lot and there are many good teams,” he said. “It's true that Odisha FC is in better shape and we have a better team. We have brought in players with more experience but other teams also have more quality. Anybody can beat anybody and it will be an equal league. We want to take it game by game and at least finish in the playoffs.

The boys are working hard and they are doing well. We lost the game (to Mumbai City FC) and we were playing away. But now we're excited to go to the Kalinga Stadium and play in front of our fans,” he concluded.

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