Reaction from players was amazing: Odisha FC head coach Lobera

Bhubaneswar, April 24 (UNI) Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera shared his satisfaction after his side staged a comeback victory against Mohun Bagan SG by a 2-1 scoreline in the first leg of the semi-final 1 in the Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Kalinga Stadium here Tuesday night.

The Mariners took the lead early with a headed goal from Manvir Singh, marking the second-fastest goal in the ISL playoffs. However, the hosts responded swiftly, equalizing within eight minutes through Carlos Delgado’s clinical finish from a Ahmed Jahouh corner.

In the 39th minute, Roy Krishna provided his team with a valuable lead in this intense match, exhibiting goal-scoring prowess as he capitalized on an individual error by Mohun Bagan SG defender Hector Yuste to beat Vishal Kaith at the near post.

With this goal, Krishna now boasts 13 goals in the ISL 2023–24 season, becoming Odisha FC’s record goal-scorer in a single campaign.

This victory marked Odisha FC’s inaugural ISL triumph against the Mariners, breaking a streak of nine winless encounters for the Kalinga Warriors.

Lobera expressed his delight with his players’ performance, highlighting their collective determination and resilience in staging yet another comeback win on home turf.

The Spaniard commended his players’ fighting spirit, emphasizing their composure until the final whistle to secure victory in the opening leg of this semi-final fixture.

“As always, this team has shown everyone strong character, quality, and a strong mentality. It’s not the first time we’ve come back after conceding a goal. The reaction of the players is very important because when we concede a goal in a big, important game like today or against a strong team like Mohun Bagan SG, it’s not easy to react (after conceding the goal),” Lobera said in the post-match press conference.

“But I’m very happy and proud of my players because the reaction was amazing. We continue to be loyal to our style of play, trying to dominate the game. We dominated many phases of the game and generated several chances,” he said.

“It’s very important if you want to win big games—to have this mentality and character. And the team showed this mentality and character in a difficult situation, conceding one goal early,” Lobera added.

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