Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 8:01 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 8:01 AM (IST)

Super champs

After Super Cup triumph, Goa coach says his side have deserved a trophy for long
Super champs
FC Goa celebrate after winning the final of the Super Cup in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. PTI

Bhubaneswar, April 14

FC Goa’s long wait for a trophy ended yesterday after they edged out Chennaiyin FC 2-1 in the Super Cup final at the Kalinga Stadium here.

Goa had twice come close to winning a title, ending up as the runners-up in the Indian Super League in 2015 and this season. They had lost 3-2 to Chennaiyin in the 2015 final and 1-0 in extra-time to Bengaluru FC in last month’s final.

“We could have won two trophies this season,” FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said. “We won the admiration of all the people in India and that is really big,” he added.

Interestingly, Bengaluru had also lost the ISL final last season before going on to win the Super Cup title. And just like Bengaluru last season, Goa came into the Super Cup final highly motivated and better prepared to get over the pain of losing the ISL final. Known for their attacking style, Goa had to play tactically smart football to get past a defensively strong Chennaiyin team. “I think we were tactically better. We could and should have scored the third goal. Not doing that made it a little tough for us in the end,” Lobero said.

The coach credited his players. “This is all because of our players. They have been great,” Lobero said.

Goa have been one of the most consistent teams in ISL. In the five seasons of ISL, Goa have reached the final twice and made it to the last-four on two occasions. Lobero said that his side deserved to win a title this season. “If you look back, history suggests that we have deserved a trophy for a long time now,” Lobero said. “I think we have received the acclaim from all people. We will now look to build on that. We will look to strengthen for next season,” he added.

Goa striker Ferran Corominas said: “I’m feeling really emotional right now. Behind this day is lots of hard work from everyone at the club and our families. I am feeling like I am about to cry.” 

Corominas was the top-scorer in the ISL with 16 goals, and scored four goals in the Super Cup, including the opener in the final.

“Playing with quality players makes my job easier. But at the end of the day, as the coach said, it is the team as a whole whose performance needs to be lauded,” he said.

Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory said: “My team gave everything. We are disappointed that we didn’t manage to win. I thought in the first half, we played well and had good opportunities to score. But we didn’t take them. It is our fourth game in 10 days. I think it was pretty evident in the last 15 minutes that we had some really tired bodies on the field.”

“They just missed out on the ISL, but they managed to get themselves a trophy,” he added. — Agencies


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