We need to be positive about this season: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau
Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau wants his players to learn from their mistakes and remain positive after they lost 0-2 to ATK Mohun Bagan in the second knockout game of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Saturday.
The game started with a good pace as both teams tried to outplay each other in the early minutes. The visitors had a few chances to take the lead but a moment of brilliance from Dimitri Petratos in either half gave the home side the semi-final spot. A quick corner taken by Petratos was slotted in by Hugo Boumous in the first-half and later in the second-half, the Australian sealed the deal by scoring a sensational strike.
Making their first-ever appearance in the knockout stages of the Hero ISL, the Kalinga Warriors couldn't dominate on the attacking front despite having more possession. Gombau acknowledged the way their opponents played and won the game, and admitted that the lack of concentration from his players cost the match.
"I think we had a good game. In the first few minutes, our team played well, we got a good chance to score with Diego Mauricio and after that we conceded a goal from a quick corner. It's something that we worked on and we have spoken. But we lost this concentration for a short time and conceded the goal. In the second half. We tried to score but in one of these actions in our build-up, they recovered the ball from us and they made a quick transition and scored. After that, it was very difficult," Gombau said in the post-match press conference.
"Of course (we're) sad that we lost, but I think that we played a good game. I cannot say anything to my players. We need to be positive about this season, with the way we played. ATK Mohun Bagan have played well (tonight) and I congratulate them," he added.
Our #HeroISL journey comes to an end. 💔#OdishaFC #AmaTeamAmaGame #TheEasternDragons #ATKMBOFC #ISL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/BJpTUCkqfE— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) March 4, 2023
Even though both teams had their fair share of chances, Odisha FC found it hard to break down the opposition. The Juggernauts registered just one shot on target compared to the six of ATK Mohun Bagan. Despite the loss, Gombau felt that his side tried their best and cited the lack of experience as a differenciating factor between the two teams.
"It was a good football game. Both teams tried to have the ball and tried to attack but in the end, ATK Mohun Bagan have very good players with experience (whereas) we have a lot of young players in our squad. I think that we had a decent season. We did quite well for sure. We need to learn from our mistakes like we did today. The goals came from our own mistakes, say a lack of concentration in defending the set pieces and in buildup plays, where the opposition team got the ball from us. Always you have things to improve in football," he added.
The Juggernauts had a relatively good season as they finished sixth in the league table with 30 points, most points they have ever registered in the Hero ISL history. Registering nine wins during the league stage of the season, the side also set a club record for most number of wins in a single league season. Following a historic Hero ISL 2022-23 season, the Spaniard is already setting up the ground for things ahead of their Hero ISL season.
"Now it's a moment to rest after this loss and we will have a week off for the players and after that we will have three, four weeks to prepare for the Super Cup. Waiting for the draw and the place, we need to play and after that we will go and we will take it very seriously as every time that we play a game. We will try to progress in the Super Cup, it is a good competition and also in some moments, we can give some (playing time) to players who didn't have much time in the league. This is our mentality and we would go there and try to win also," he concluded.