Lobera looking forward to final, Costa proud of his players
FC Goa booked their spot in the Hero Super Indian League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 final after overcoming Mumbai City FC by an aggregate of 5-2 over the two-legged semi-finals. Despite going down 1-0 in the second leg at home on Tuesday, their 5-1 thrashing of Mumbai in the first leg last week ensured their passage to the March 17 grand finale. Rafael Bastos scored the only goal of the night in the 6th minute. However, the Gaurs were guilty of spurning a few chances to get back into the match.
At the post-match conference, Goa head coach Sergio Lobera shared his thoughts on the match. "I was not expecting the first half that we had because it was not good. I think at a certain point, this can be normal. With the huge advantage that we brought from Mumbai and the final being close, some players would have thought of not getting booked or not getting injured," he remarked.
Despite the defeat, Lobera was evidently happy that his side qualified for the final and cited the performance in the first leg as the deciding factor. "It is obvious that we always want to win. But it is a very happy day for us because we have achieved a big thing and what we have to think of now is what we can achieve in a few days’ time. We have already done the hardest thing, which was achieving the result in Mumbai," he said.
From Mumbai’s end, head coach Jorge Costa shed some light on how he perceived the final result. "I think we had a very good game. Let me tell you that it was not easy for us after the first game. We had time to recover not physically but mentally. Let me tell you that I am very proud to be the head coach of this team and to have worked with these players for a season. It was important for us to respect our job, respect the club, the league and we did it. We won 1-0. It is different than if we had drawn or lost. But after losing 5-1, the boys did a wonderful job," he claimed.
The Portuguese coach, who was addressing the press for the final time this season, spoke on the highlights of the campaign and said, "We started the team with a small budget. We don’t have the budget that other teams had. New coach and new foreigners. At the beginning, it was difficult to understand this reality. We beat some records - we went nine games without a loss which is a record for the club. I am sad because I wanted to play the final at home. We made mistakes, but we played against a top team. But FC Goa also respected us. They made only one change. They respected the competition."
Click here to read the match report.