We let pressure get in our way, which led to mistakes: Odisha FC’s Josep Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau admitted his side were not at their best as they suffered a 0-2 defeat against Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022–23 season at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneshwar, on Wednesday.

After an even first half, Harry Sawyer and Ritwik Das scored for Jamshedpur FC in quick succession during the second half. The hosts created some big chances, but couldn't find the back of the net as they slumped to their eighth defeat of the season. Odisha FC just needed a point to qualify for the Hero ISL playoffs, but now their top-six aspirations is not in their hands. OFC will have to wait until Thursday to find out their fate in the ongoing Hero ISL season.  

Gombau expected a difficult game against Jamshedpur FC and said it was a fair result as the Red Miners were the better side than the home side. The defeat was Odisha FC's second at home this season, leaving them in sixth place with 30 points from 20 games, while Jamshedpur FC finished their season on a high note, after a third win from their previous four games.

“It was a difficult game for us, but it was a fair result, and Jamshedpur FC were the better side than us, and we did not do well in many parts of the game. When it is not your day, you have to accept the result. Now we have to wait until Thursday to know if we are in the top six or not. Our players have worked hard, we need to have the sportsmanship to accept the loss,” Gombau said in the post-match press conference.

Gombau made three changes at the stroke of half-time bringing in Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Denechandra Meitei and Victor Rodriguez.  However, Jamshedpur FC did not let the hosts take control of the game and scored two goals in a span of two minutes, which changed the complexion of the game. Gombau admitted that Jamshedpur FC were the better side overall and made it difficult for his team. 

“The first half was not good, they (Jamshedpur FC) had few chances, and in the second half, we tried to have more possession by bringing in (Victor) Rodriguez and control the game, but the opponent scored two quick goals, which made it difficult for us. It is not about the first half or the second half, for me, Jamshedpur FC were organised and the better team throughout the game. We let pressure get in our way which led to mistakes. It was a very bad game for us, we will try to improve (if) we qualify,” he stated.

Odisha FC are not down and out as of yet. They will have to hope that FC Goa drop points against Bengaluru FC to confirm a place in the top six. Gombau urged his fans to keep believing in the team and encouraged them to back the team, which has worked hard throughout the season. 

“We are sad for them (the fans), but we are grateful for the support they have brought throughout the season. We will see what will happen, it (the season) is not finished and it was just a bad day. For a team that is at the start of a project, we need the fans to believe in us,” Gombau commented.

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