Atlético de Kolkata secured a crucial point against Mumbai City FC to keep their unbeaten run alive in the Indian Super League. The visitors were on the back foot for large parts of the match, but midfielder Javi Lara scored a crucial equaliser in the 82nd minute much to the dismay of the vociferous home crowd.
Kolkata coach José Molina told the media post match that his side deserved a draw at the least considering how they played in the second half. “We didn’t have a very good first forty-five minutes. They scored one goal and had two-three more clear chances to score. But they didn’t score.”
“During half-time, I told the team that it’s still only 1-0 and we have to fight. I think we deserved at least a point. One-half to each team. I think a draw was a fair result,” Molina said.
Molina says half-time substitutions changed the game
Molina took of Bikramjit and Ian Hume at half-time after his side’s lacklustre first half performance and brought on Pearson and Ruidas, which he said was the turning point of the match.
“The two changes at half time was absolutely tactical. I was not happy with our performance in the first half. We played a different formation in the second half. We dominated the match in the second half. The changes worked,” he stated.
Atlético de Kolkata will host Goa in their next match and coach Molina said he will leave Mumbai not completely satisfied. The coach was content with a point considering the situation his side were in, “We came here to try and win. But losing 1-0, gaining one point is always good. It’s not the best. We would have preferred three points,” he said.
Sending off helped side, says Molina
Mumbai City FC’s Pronay Halder was shown a red card in the 71st-minute, post which the visitors began dominating proceedings. Molina agreed that the sending off worked in his side’s favour.
“The referee decided to give the Mumbai player a second yellow card. It was better for us. But Mumbai defended very well. We deserved the goal and the point. We could have scored another goal. But we didn’t have any clear cut chances,” Molina said.
On Helder Postiga
Lastly, Molina spoke about striker Hélder Postiga who is currently out with a rib injury, “He will be back as soon as possible. I am not allowed to talk much now. Hopefully, we can use him in our next match against Goa in Kolkata. The doctor and physiotherapist are working on him. We will see,” he concluded.