Josep Gombau: Dorronsoro’s penalty save changed the game

Odisha FC beat Hyderabad FC by a 2-1 scoreline at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Hyderabad scored the first goal of the match within just 40 seconds, but Aridane Santana scored a brace to guide Odisha to their fourth win on the trot.

After the match, Odisha head coach Josep Gombau, in an exclusive post-match interview with, summed up the contest and said, “It was a very tough match for us. We started on the wrong foot and conceded the early goal. It was a lack of concentration, something which shouldn’t happen. We scored after 15 minutes and after that the teams were on equal footing. Then there was the red card for Hyderabad and we scored from the resulting penalty to make it 2-1.”

Despite going down to 10 men after Dimple Bhagat was sent off at the stroke of half time, Hyderabad put on a gritty front in the second half. Admiring their opponent’s resolute display, the Spaniard declared, “Hyderabad played a very good game (with 10 men). They sat back and tried to play in the transitions. It made it very difficult for us to penetrate their defence. Towards the end they created some good chances to score too.”

In the 33rd minute, Odisha conceded a penalty, but goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro pulled off a brilliant save to keep out Bobo’s spot kick. Hailing the moment as the turning point of the match, Gombau opined, “That was the moment that changed the game. The penalty they had, if they scored that it would have been 2-1 for them. It would have been a different game then. But they missed the penalty and we scored ours, that was the difference.”

The victory brings Odisha within three points of the top spot. Asked if the summit is a realistic target, the Spaniard replied, “We want to go game by game. At the start of the season, no one would have bet on us to be in this position. I am not thinking of the top spot for now. Every single game, we approach as a final and try to win. At the end of the season, we will see where we are.”

Odisha winger Nandhakumar Sekar had to be taken off in the first half after sustaining an injury. Providing an update on the player, Gombau revealed, “Nandha felt his hamstring. It’s a strain. For us, it’s a big miss. It’s not what he does with the ball, which is a lot, but what he does without it too.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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