Kerala Blasters FC took advantage of their chances and we didn't: Odisha FC’s Sergio Lobera
Kerala Blasters FC staged an exceptional comeback against Odisha FC on Friday to register their third win of the season.
Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera lamented his side’s missed chances as they went down 2-1 to Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2023-24, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday.
Diego Maurício missed a penalty in the 22nd minute after giving his team the lead just 15 minutes into the match. Despite a dominant first-half performance from Odisha FC, the Blasters staged an exceptional comeback, equalising in the 66th minute through a fine finish from Dimitrios Diamantakos. Adrian Luna sealed the comeback with a sublime goal in the 84th minute, marking his third goal of the season.
Following their opening win against Chennaiyin FC, Odisha FC has dropped points in all their games after taking the lead, including a 3-2 defeat against FC Goa, where they conceded in injury time. In Kochi, the Odisha FC defence couldn't prevent Luna's late-game-winning strike, resulting in their second consecutive defeat of the season.
Lobera attributed the defeat to poor finishing by his team and their loss of possession in the second half.
“I think in the first half we dominated the game. We had our chances to score and to finish the game because to score the second goal was very important. Even the penalty. We had chances. We didn't score the second goal. And in the second half, I think we lost possession of the ball and the difference was they took advantage of their chances and we didn't do this. Finally the game was decided because of our chances. We couldn't score the opportunities we had and Kerala (Blasters FC) scored the chances they had,” he stated in the post-match press conference.
Analysing his team’s performance in the second half, the Spanish tactician felt that his team couldn’t keep up with the pressure from their opposition which led to the defeat.
“In the second half, they put us under pressure. We had difficulties to build from back. We lost the possession of the ball. We struggled with the ball and gave them the opportunity to have chances. If you score chances, you can win the game. But for me it's a painful decision because I think we deserved more, especially in the first half,” Lobera explained.
Lobera concluded by expressing gratitude towards their home fans. The 46-year-old stated, “It's so nice when you are going some places and the people are showing me a warm welcome. It's always nice.”