Jarni dedicates win to home fans, Gombau blames lapse in concentration

Match 7 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 between NorthEast United FC and Odisha FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday ended 2-1 in the home team’s favour. Asamoah Gyan scored the winner late in the match after Redeem Tlang's early strike was cancelled out by Xisco Hernandez. Odisha's Carlos Delgado was sent off in the 72nd minute, reducing Odisha to 10 men for the final phase of the match.

At the post-match press conference, NorthEast head coach Robert Jarni shared his take on the contest and stated, “It was an intense game. We were leading 1-0 and then they got a chance and scored. We got a bit nervous after that. But we responded well and I am proud of the players. I think we didn’t quite play as good as we did in the Bengaluru match but we got the result. That’s the most important thing.”

Speaking on what it meant to win in the manner they did, the Croat revealed, “It’s very important to win the first match. Everyone is really happy back in the dressing room. They are enjoying the moment."

The veteran coach then went on to dedicate the win to the home fans, who stayed behind the team throughout. “The fans were amazing today. They did exactly what I wanted them to do. I had said earlier that during tough times, support from the fans become crucial. When it was 1-1, they kept cheering us on and we went on to win the game. This win is for them.”

Asked about the young Indian contingent under his charge, the World Cupper opined, “Redeem and Puitea (Lalthathanga Khawlhring) are very good players. They have improved a lot since last season. They are playing a lot and gaining experience. So, it’s good for them, out club and it’s good for Indian football.”

Enquired if he had settled on a first eleven yet, Jarni remarked, “The first XI is the one I put out every match. They need to learn every week and that’s how we can make the best out of the situation. I am very happy with the players. They are learning a lot with every training session. Every match is different.”

From the Odisha camp, head coach Josep Gombau faced the media and started by saying, “It’s a disappointing result. I think we did quite well in terms of the way of played our football. We had a lack of concentration in the first minute, I think. This cost us the first goal. After that, the team played quite well. I think we had some chances to draw level before the half-time. Their goalkeeper made good saves. In the second-half, we played good football. We had our chances. We scored and drew the game. After that, an unlucky accident and we got a red card. We conceded the goal in the 85th minute like last game. We lost the game. I think we have very young players in the squad. They need to grow but I am satisfied with them because everybody works very hard.”

“If you concede in the first minute, it changes the game a lot. I think it’s a lapse of concentration. I need to watch the video and make my opinion,” he added.

Read the Match Report here.

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