Josep Gombau: Grateful for the support of Odisha fans

Odisha FC beat Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in their first-ever match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Striker Aridane Santana scored either side of an Aitor Monroy penalty to seal the victory for Josep Gombau’s men, who courtesy of the result, are now just one point off the top four. The three points were especially special because it came in Odisha’s designated home, with Gombau applauding the support his side got throughout the 90 minutes.

He said, “It was a very good feeling to play at home. We are so grateful to the people who came to the stadium and helped us in our first game here at the Kalinga Stadium in Odisha. It was difficult to play today because the pitch wasn’t in the strongest condition.”

“I think we played a good game in this difficult situation. It was a very equal game, but I think we won because we have quality players like Aridane in the front. He scored an amazing second goal. The second half was very open with a lot of situations. We are happy with the result,” added the Spaniard while speaking at the post-match press conference.

Admitting his defenders’ fault for the penalty awarded to Jamshedpur, Gombau told, “The penalty that we conceded is a mistake from us. It was a 50-50 ball and our players didn’t communicate with each other, and finally, they lost the ball and gave away the penalty. It was a mistake from our defence.”

The Odisha head coach also felt that overdependence on Santana isn’t something he is worried about. “It’s true he has scored six goals for us. Also, Xisco (Hernandez) has scored four. Others have scored one. The striking position is very important, and we brought him here because we know his quality. He is a player who not just scores goal. He is very good in the air. We are so happy with him and he is also very humble. He helps the younger players,” he admitted.

Finally, the 43-year-old looked ahead to the next match and stated, “We have ten days for the next game. We need to recover some players. We have a long time to prepare for the next game which will be against Chennaiyin (FC). It will be a difficult game because they are playing very well. We will work hard to try and win. We need to be strong. We have eight games in front of us to finish in the top four. Five are at home and we will try to be strong.”

Read the Match Report here.

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