Mumbai City FC players deserve to play the final: Lobera after overcoming FC Goa in semis
Mumbai City FC qualified for their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) final when they beat FC Goa 6-5 on penalties at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday, and Islanders head coach Sergio Lobera was understandably overjoyed at the post-match press conference.
Watch Sergio Lobera's Post-Match Press conference here:
“I am very happy because my players have made a big effort. It is not easy to play 90 minutes, go into extra time and play penalties [after a 0-0 scoreline and 2-2 aggregate]. I am very happy because the players deserve to play in the final. I have a very good squad and I have amazing people in the dressing room. We deserve to play the final,” he said.
The Islanders made a surprise change when they chose to substitute their in-form skipper Amrinder Singh for Phurba Lachenpa just before the penalty shoot-out. The decision however proved a masterstroke as the 23-year-old custodian, who was also making his Hero ISL debut, gave a great account of himself in the challenging atmosphere.
Talking about the surprising move, Lobera said, “He [Amrinder] is the best goalkeeper this season. I have no doubt about this. We spoke to the player and he knows the situation. I want to congratulate the goalkeeping coach on this decision because finally, it was a good decision. We have three very good goalkeepers, and I think that Phurba deserves to enjoy this moment.”
Meanwhile, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando was disappointed with the result but commended the efforts of the players and the coaching staff. “It was two very difficult games [first leg ended in a 2-2 draw]. But I am very happy with the performance. It is necessary to talk about the great job of the coaching staff and the players,” he said.
“It is very difficult because at the end [of the match], the tactical or the technical [changes] are a result of how tired the players are, their mentality and psychology. It is very difficult when you have [just] two days [to rest] and then a game. But I am very happy because in a difficult moment, all the players helped the team.”
Following the win, Mumbai City FC now wait for the winners from the ATK Mohun Bagan-NorthEast United FC semi-final on Tuesday. Both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg on Saturday.
Watch Juan Ferrando's Post-Match Press conference here: