Josep Gombau: Will fight with all we got in the three remaining matches

Odisha FC suffered their first loss at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar as they went down 4-2 against FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 on Wednesday. Despite the scoreline, Odisha showed good resilience, playing with a depleted squad. They fell behind 3-0 before half-time but brought the score back to 3-2 by the 65th minute through two Manuel Onwu goals. Ferran Corominas scored late to eventually seal the fate of the contest.

At the post-match press conference, Odisha head coach Josep Gombau analysed the match and opined, “It was a game of two halves. I think the first half belonged to Goa and the second one belonged to us. Goa had control of the game in the first half and played well. They scored three goals but according to me, the second goal was an offside. I think we should have scored one too and did (through Onwu) which was ruled offside. I think it was totally legal. If these were taken into account, the first half score would have been 2-1.”

“In the second half, the game changed completely. We scored two and had chances to score more. But they scored one and it was 4-2. Nothing that we can say. I am proud of my players. Considering we were missing five first team regulars, we did a good job,” he added.

Goa’s three goals in the first half came within a phase of six minutes. Addressing that, he said, “We made mistakes. First goal came from a deflection from a free-kick. We could have avoided that. Second goal, I think, was an offside and there was a third as well. We had six very problematic minutes and it cost us the game.”

The Spaniard, however, praised the team for the character they showcased in the second period and said, “Overall, I am satisfied with the boys. We were losing 3-0 at half time but didn’t go down easily. We showed that we have the capability of coming back. I am happy with the way we played,”

Pressed for his opinion on new loan signing Manuel Onwu, who scored a brace on the night, Gombau noted, “Onwu could have had a hat-trick today and scored two. He played well today.”

With three more matches to go, the defeat will be a heavy blow to Odisha’s top four chances. Promising an all-out attempt to make it to the semi-finals from his team, Gombau stated, “We will try to win the games. Good thing is that next match we will have a full squad. Marcos Tebar, Nandhakumar Sekar, Shubham Sarangi and Carlos Delgado will be back and ready. We will fight in the three games that are left. If we make the top four, it’s good but if we can’t, I can’t say anything to my players. They give everything whenever called upon.”

Read the Match Report here.

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