PANAJI: FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena was satisfied with his team’s performance and said that it was very difficult to get even one point as the Gaurs shared the spoils against Odisha FC in the opening fixture of Matchweek 19 in the Indian Super League (ISL), at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, on Monday.
The Gaurs went ahead as early as the second minute of the game when Noah Sadaoui broke forward and slotted past Amrinder Singh. Odisha FC piled on the pressure and came back into the game as Diego Mauricio scored a brilliant free-kick in the 43rd minute to keep the scores level at the break. Odisha FC finished the match with 10 men after Sahil Panwar was shown his second yellow of the night in the 67th minute.
Both teams remain at the same spots where they began Matchweek 19. The Juggernauts are shy of just one point from the playoff spots at seventh place and FC Goa remain in fourth place in the ISL points table.
Odisha FC maintained their impressive home record, having suffered only one defeat in eight home matches this season.
“We got a point which is very difficult to get in Odisha against a very good team and in a difficult stadium. We are very happy because I have a feeling that we could’ve done more. The second half was completely ours and we had chances to get the three points but we tried and got one point. We give value to this point and we move to think about the next match,” Pena said in the official post-match press conference.
The Juggernauts were down to 10 men with 20 minutes left on the clock, but FC Goa couldn’t capitalise. Pena shed light on how the team tried to attack after the break and felt that the Gaurs dominated the second half.
“We tried, we tried to put more players in attack and tried to open up the pitch. We absolutely dominated the second half but we needed to be aggressive in front of the goal. I value this one point because I said before the game it’s very difficult to get even one point in these last games. We will try to get three points in the next match at home,” Pena said.
Pena’s men welcome Mumbai City FC at the Fatorda Stadium in the next match with both teams looking to continue their fine form. The FC Goa head coach expressed that the Islanders are a good side, but his team would look to secure the three points at home.
“We are going to recover my players, they have done a great effort. We have four days to prepare for the next match. We will try to arrive in the best condition against Mumbai City FC, a good opponent but we will play at home and we’ll try to get the three points,” Pena concluded.