Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera highly praised his team’s performance as they secured an important win against Punjab FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.

With this win, the Kalinga Warriors move up to the third spot in the points table with 21 points from 11 matches. The combination play between Isak Vanlalruatfela and Roy Krishna saw the Fijian finding the back of the net in the 21st minute, which turned out to be the decisive moment of the match as the Shers faced a 1-0 defeat at home against the Kalinga Warriors.

Lobera seemed satisfied with his team’s performance and mentioned that his team was better in the first half. He acknowledged that the hosts presented some challenges in the second half, but his defensive unit was up to the task of dealing with them.

“I think we played very well in the first half,” Lobera stated in the post-match press conference.

“I am very happy. I think the first 45 minutes of our performance was very good. Keeping possession of the ball and dominating the game generates some chances for us. In the second half, we suffered a little bit more because Punjab FC is a brave team. They were trying to play attacking football. I like the coach. I think they are doing a very good job,” he added.

“It's not easy (for them). The first year of ISL is so difficult. I know very well. It's my fifth year in the ISL, and it's not easy. I enjoy watching the games of Punjab FC because they try something—they try to play football—and they try to win the game. It's always not speculation, and I think it's very important for the supporters to have ISL teams like this. In the second half, we suffer a little bit more, and in this kind of game, when you get three points, maybe at the end of the session you need to remember that this point is very important for us,” he continued further.

Odisha FC have now kept three clean sheets in a row, a feat they achieved for the first time in the ISL.

Lobera is delighted to achieve such a feat of keeping three consecutive clean sheets. He commended his players for their hard work and efforts, as they consistently performed well in different competitions.

“I am happy because it's a new record,” he said.

“We try to find the balance, and now we have more balance in defensive terms. But the most important thing for me is that we are unbeaten in ten games in a row—eight wins and two draws—and this is very difficult to achieve in different competitions. I am very happy with the performance of the team, and we are playing a lot of games in a short time. We have two days now, and we need to play against Jamshedpur FC again. We are playing in the AFC Cup also, and it's not easy because we are playing a lot of games and the players are doing an amazing job and an amazing effort, and I'm very proud of my players for getting points like today,” he explained.

Lobera shared his pleasure with his team's performance so far. However, they emphasize further improvement in the remaining half of the season.

“I am very happy with the first half in the ISL, he said.

“I am very happy with the performance of my players. But also always, we need to improve, we need to grow, we need to be ambitious, we need to do some things better, and we need to continue working. We need to keep going,” Lobera signed off.