ISL 2023-24: Coach Sergio Lobera delighted with Odisha FC's comeback win over Bengaluru FC (WATCH)
Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera expressed his elation as his side secured a remarkable comeback victory against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
Odisha FC's head coach, Sergio Lobera, expressed his delight after witnessing his team stage a remarkable comeback, securing a 3-2 victory against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 clash at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium.
Bengaluru FC initiated the game strongly, swiftly achieving a two-goal advantage in the initial 20 minutes, courtesy of goals from Sunil Chhetri and Ryan Williams. However, Odisha's Puitea scored a spectacular long-range goal, narrowing the deficit. Isak Ralte equalized just before halftime, and Amey Ranawade netted the winning goal after Bengaluru FC was reduced to ten men early in the second half.
Lobera commended his team's character for staging a remarkable response after trailing by two goals early in the match.
"The character of my players was very good," Lobera expressed during the post-match press conference.
“I'm happy because we got three very important points. We were coming from a very painful loss against Kerala Blasters FC, and we started the game under these circumstances, where we conceded two goals very early. I'm very proud of my players for their reaction after that because it was not easy,” he added.
However, Lobera acknowledged that there's room for improvement, noting the team's nervousness in the final phase of the game. Nonetheless, he was content with securing three points in the league after three games.
“We played against ten players in the second half and we suffered a lot in the last minutes. We didn't take advantage of the (numerical) superiority we had, but in the end, we won three points, I'm very happy (with that),” he stated.
Odisha FC is set to play against NorthEast United FC in just two days, another team that has shown a promising start under new management. Lobera anticipates a challenging game but remains optimistic about securing another home win on Friday.
“We don't have time to celebrate the three points. Tomorrow, we need to recover the players and find out if there are any injuries. We (now) need to put focus on the next game,” Lobera emphasized.
“We are aware of the potential of the team we will be facing. NorthEast United FC are having a very good season, but we will be at home, and hopefully, we can replicate the same result on Friday,” added Lobera.
Regarding the absence of defender Mourtada Fall from the matchday squad against Bengaluru FC, Lobera disclosed the reason and expressed hope for his swift recovery for the upcoming game.
“Today he (Fall) had some problems but hopefully, we can recover the player as soon as possible. I don't think it is very serious, and hopefully, he will be available for the next game,” Lobera concluded.