Kolkata, Jan 29 (IANS) Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau urged his team to cut down on their mistakes in order to qualify for the playoffs as the Juggernauts lost 2-0 against ATK Mohun Bagan in the latest fixture of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, here.
The first goal of the match came as early as in the third minute with Dimitri Petratos scoring his sixth goal of the season. Petratos scored the second goal of the night in the 80 minute to seal all three points for the home team. However, the Mariners finished the match with 10 players as Ashique Kuruniyan was sent off in the dying minutes of the game.
After the victory on Saturday, ATK Mohun Bagan reclaim in the third spot in Hero ISL points table, overtaking FC Goa and have a game in hand. Meanwhile, Odisha FC slipped out of the playoff spot after a fourth defeat in their last five matches. The Juggernauts are placed in the seventh spot on the Hero ISL points table.
With the second consecutive defeat in the league, the Juggernauts were replaced by Bengaluru FC in the sixth position after the Blues recorded a 3-1 win against Chennaiyin FC earlier on Saturday. Gombau mentioned that the team cannot afford to make mistakes if they want to be competitive and qualify for the playoffs.
“It was a good game. We made a mistake at the beginning of the match in the third minute which resulted in us conceding the goal. We lost the ball at the midfield line which we can’t lose and that allowed the opposition to make the transition. If you concede a goal in the first three minutes then you have to go and chase the result. If we want to be competitive, fight and qualify for the playoffs, we cannot make such mistakes,” Gombau was quoted as saying by ISL.
The second half of the season has seen Odisha FC go through a rough patch with the team managing only one victory in the last five matches after securing six wins in first 10 matches. Gombau reiterated that the team is under a transition phase and felt that his side have been competitive in every match that they have played.
“Teams like ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC, these are big teams and we are a team under construction. We don’t have the power to sign players like them. We are doing a good season with the kind of club we are. We will fight until the end to be in the playoffs. I don’t think we are playing badly this year, we are playing good football, we are competing in every game,” Gombau added.
The Juggernauts failed to score against ATK Mohun Bagan for the second time this season after a goalless draw in the reverse fixture. Odisha FC’s head coach expressed how the team boasts a lot of young players, and that he’s proud of them despite the results.
“My team is doing well. To come here and win is not easy. I think Odisha FC is having a decent season. We are competing and we will fight until the end to try to be in the playoffs. We play with a lot of young players, they are working hard, we are building up from the back and we are trying to play a decent style of football. I’m proud of them. I cannot blame anyone,” Gombau concluded.