Jakub Podaný happy despite leaving it late to qualify
Jakub Podaný was elated with Atlético de Kolkata’s 1-1 draw against FC Goa that was enough to carry his team into the semi-finals. Kolkata ended their league stage campaign in third place with 19 points and will again play the Goans, who finished second, in the double leg semi-final.
“We are happy to qualify because we left it to the last game. We equalised from a penalty so we showed some strength because we were losing. I’m really happy that we made it!” the 27-year-old player who operates on the left flank told indiansuperleague.com in a post-match interview.
Although Kolkata were trailing as they went into the second half, the Czech midfielder/winger felt confident that his team would come up with the equaliser as everybody was on the same page. “Everybody knew what we had to do because we knew we were 1-0 down and needed at least a draw to qualify. So the coach didn’t really have to tell us anything,” said Podaný, when asked whether there was a pep talk given by their coach at half-time.
Podaný has played all his professional career in his home country only with the likes of Bohemians, Sparta Prague and Sigma Olomouc with whom he has won the Czech Cup in 2011-12. In the Hero Indian Super League he has scored two goals in his eight appearances for the Kolkata club and could be in line for honours in the sub-continent.
Podaný however played down the significance of the semifinal clash against Goa considering that their encounter in the first leg that Kolkata won 1-2, was an ill-tempered affair. “I don’t think it’s a derby or a rivalry. It’s a very important match because if we win we go to the final,” commented the Sparta Prague academy graduate.
“We have to play two games so I think if you win the first game, you’re in a better position to play the second game. We will also have to concentrate on the second game,” he observed.