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ISL 2019-20: Complacent FC Goa get 'lucky' against Odisha FC

03:34 GMT 23/12/2019
Goa vs Odisha
The scoreline read 3-0 in favour of the Gaurs but Odisha deserved much better....

"I don't believe in luck but today we got a little lucky". This is not exactly the statement you'd here from a coach who just watches his team win 3-0 and spring to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table.

Sergio Lobera was unhappy with the way FC Goa defeated Odisha FC. He felt that the scoreline did very little justice to the tight contest between the two sides.

“I am not happy. I think it was our worst game at home. The result does not reflect what happened on the pitch. If we continue the same way, it is possible that we may not win the games like today. I need to learn and we need to improve,” Lobera explained.

This was mostly true in the second half when Odisha dominated for a short interval in which they had two very good chances to equalise and potentially take the fight to Goa. Xisco Hernandez brought out the best out of Mohammad Nawaz and Aridane Santana also failed to do justice to a brilliant cross from Narayan Das.

Also, both the goals scored by the hosts resulted from simple goal-keeping errors from Arshdeep Singh, who didn't have much to do in the second half.

The Gaurs were visibly complacent, happy with the one-goal lead and did very little to double it. This does not align with Lobera’s philosophy and justified his displeasure despite the win. This does not sit well with the Spanish gaffer mainly because he knows his team is capable of much more.

The first goal scored by Goa against Odisha is a testament to how they are great at executing Lobera's idea of football. Brandon Fernandes pressured Jerry Mawihmingthanga into losing the ball in his own half. Jackichand Singh collected the ball, spotted Hugo Boumous’ run into the box and played him in with a delicate through-ball. The Frenchman squared it for Ferran Corominas, who netted it first time. During the build-up, Mandar Rao Desai made a dummy run to distract three Odisha defenders and provide the Spaniard with the time and space to place his shot.

TLobera must look at what happened in the second quarter of the second half when there were openings in Odisha’s defence and the forwards did not press enough to unsettle them.

Despite the negative tone of the manager, it’s clear that Goa are heading to another good season, having topped the Indian Super League (ISL) table mid-way through. Lobera has found his winning combination, and it’s unlikely he will experiment with it. Small tweaks in defence should bolster them for the second half of the season.