Goa coach Sergio Lobera delighted to take four points from two opening games
Goa failed to win their opening game at NorthEast United despite producing a stellar attacking performance, as they drew 2-2. Their Spanish coach, however, delights in having had a spectacular start to their Indian Super League campaign, with their sitting atop the standings.
"Starting the season with four points in two away games is something to be happy about,” he admitted while talking to the press after the game. “As I always say, I always try to get the best [from the players]. Against NorthEast United, we dropped two points, but I'm really happy to have claimed all three points against Chennai."
While Ferran Corominas, Mourtada Fall and Edu Bedia all had exceptional outings, Ahmed Jahouh, who had played under him at Moroccan club Moghreb Tétouan, particularly stood out, winning the ball back and distributing it. He, however, refused to single out the central midfielder as the reason behind their big win. "What made us stand out is the players' working as a team," he said, clearly looking to give all his players collective credit. "I always say we're an attacking side. We've proved that today on the field. I'm happy for my players' way of defending is having the ball. I think we had a high percentage of possession.”
It looked as though Mohammad Nawaz would vindicate his decision to keep him in the starting line-up by keeping a clean sheet. Chennai centre-back Eli Sabia, however, had other ideas as he scored a consolation header late into stoppage time to spoil the ‘keeper’s night. Despite that, the manager hasn’t lost his faith in the young boy.
"The only thing I'm unhappy about is our not keeping a clean sheet today,” he said. "Nawaz is an 18-year-old kid. What he needs is confidence and, as I said before the match, one mistake won't change my mind about him."
Asked if he finds the win the perfect revenge to Chennai’s beating them in the play-off semi-finals last season, the manager chose to stay classy, stating he doesn’t believe in revenge in football.
Goa play their next game a fortnight from today, at Fatorda Stadium as they welcome eighth-placed Mumbai City. Having already beaten defending champions Chennai and drawn with NorthEast, a game against Mumbai must be a walk in the park for the Gaurs.