Lobera: Proud of the players who played today

FC Goa left it late to rescue a point against Kerala Blasters FC in their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday. Kerala took the early lead through Sergio Cidoncha but Goa brought themselves level in the 41st minute through Mourtada Fall. Kerala, however, reclaimed their lead courtesy Raphael Messi Bouli shortly after Fall was shown the red card, early in the second half. Lenny Rodrigues popped up with a late, late equaliser for Goa, ensuring his team returned with a point.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, head coach Sergio Lobera declared, “I think the first-half was the worst first-half performance I have seen in my three seasons as FC Goa coach. We didn’t have the possession we didn’t keep the ball, and because of this, the opponents were able to create chances. We were lucky to go to the dressing room 1-1 in the first-half.”

Lobera, however, commended their spirit shown by his players in the second-half, “In the second-half, I think the team improved a lot. We played better than the opponent team, but the red card to Fall made it difficult to play the same way.”

“When four players (Ahmed Jahouh, Ferran Corominas, Hugo Boumous and Seiminlen Doungel) are missing, it makes it very difficult. But I am very proud of the players who played today. They made a big effort to get one point which is very important for us,” the Spaniard added when asked about the absence of his key players.

The Hero ISL 2019-20 has been witnessing a lot of late goals recently, with another one being added to the list in today’s match. On this issue, the Spaniard opined, “I think it’s all about the resistance. I told before the start of the league that in India, it’s difficult with the weather and everything. For the Indian players its good because they are adapted to the weather conditions, but for the foreign players, it’s hard to work with the weather, two times daily. You can see how many foreign players are injured, and many players are tired by the end of the match. And when they are tired, they make mistakes, but this is just my opinion. For my team, the most important thing is that they believed till the end. I need this attitude from my players to believe in themselves.”

Speaking about his opponents, Kerala Blasters, the 42-year-old stated, “Kerala have made many good signings. They got last season’s top scorer (Bartholomew) Ogbeche, Jamshedpur’s best players last season (Sergio) Cidoncha and Mario Arques. They also signed the best player from Delhi (Dynamos), Gianni Zuiverloon. The club have done a big effort to build a great team. They are a team built to win the league. The have very good players but it’s not working well as a team.”

Read the Match Report here.

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