This win will surely give us confidence: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau was delighted with the result and felt it was a deserved victory as the Juggernauts registered a clinical 3-1 win against East Bengal FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Saturday.

Cleiton Silva opened the scoring of the match in the 10th minute, only for Diego Mauricio to score the equaliser. Nandhakumar Sekar scored the second goal of the night for the Juggernauts at the end of first half to send the home team into the half-time break with the lead. Mauricio added another one soon after the break. The Brazilian’s two goals and an assist helped the team register a thrilling comeback win against East Bengal FC.

Gombau mentioned that the win was very crucial for the team as they put an end to their winless streak of disappointing results with three defeats and one draw in the last four matches.

"We are very happy with the win, we deserved the victory today. We came back after conceding the first goal and the players showed their mentality. We need to be satisfied with the result, the win was much needed because we didn't have a win in the last four matches. This win will surely give us confidence," Gombau stated at the post-match press conference.

The hosts made two changes in the playing eleven with Saul Crespo and Osama Malik slotting back into the starting line-up. Gombau shed light on how the team missed Saul Crespo, who has missed the last three matches with an injury.

"For sure, Saul (Crespo) is very important for us. He missed the last three games and he did well with the comeback. I'm happy that he's back on the pitch. As coaches, it's easy for us to do the job if we have more players available and it keeps things competitive within the team. I'm happy that Saul is back with us."

Mauricio is in red-hot form for the Juggernauts with four goals in the last two games. The Brazilian took his tally to seven goals and now sits on the second spot in the top goal scorers list with the likes of Abdenasser El Khayati, Petar Sliskovic, Lallianzuala Chhangte and more.

"He (Diego Mauricio) did fantastically (well). He scored two goals and I swapped him early because I wanted to give minutes to Pedro (Martin) but I saw the hunger in Diego as he wanted to score more goals is something very good. With his performance, I think he deserved more minutes and it was my mistake to take him out that early in the match," Gombau stated.

With this result, Odisha FC have overtaken FC Goa in the Hero ISL points table as they now sit in the fifth position. Odisha FC face Bengaluru FC in their next fixture and the head coach reiterated that the team will take it game by game.

"We go game by game. It'll be a difficult game like every single game. We will go there with the mentality to get a good result. This win will bring us confidence and our objective is to get into the playoffs and this win puts us closer to that. We have three more games here at home and then four away games. It's a moment to go game by game and the match against Bengaluru FC is going to be a very good game," he mentioned.

Gombau mentioned how the contribution from Raynier was crucial in the match. The midfielder, who joined the Juggernauts on loan at the beginning of the season from Mumbai City FC, helped the team by bagging two assists to his name.

"He (Raynier Fernandes) is doing very well. I'm so happy with him and he's an important player for us," Gombau said.

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