FC Goa chief coach Sergio Lobera admitted that two quick-fire goals, from errors, cost them as they went down 0-3 to Chennaiyin FC in the second leg of their second semi-final of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) here on Tuesday.
After the first leg in Fatorda ended 1-1, Goa came here in the second leg hoping to earn a crucial away goal firstly and rightly so, they dominated the first 25 minutes before Chennayin turned the game in their favour, with goals from striker Jeje Lalpekhlua (26th and 90th minute) and Dhanpal Ganesh (29th minute).
In the 26th minute, Jeje was left unmarked as he stood in between two central defenders Sergio Juste and Chinglensana Singh Konsham to head home a cross from Gregory Nelson from the left, beating visiting goalkeeper Neveen Kumar, who missed the last match due to an injury, from a close range to make it 1-0. It was Jeje's first goal since he scored against ATK in Kolkata on January 25.
Three minutes later, Goa's defence was caught napping again in dealing with a free-kick on their right from Nelson. Naveen misjudged it, letting the ball go past him and Ganesh outjumped two defenders to head it in, making it 2-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate for the tie.
"We were the superior team in the first 25 minutes and created a lot of chances to take the lead. Those 25 minutes, I think is the best we have played in the season. Then within three minutes, we made couple of mistakes from which they scored. Then the game changed," Spaniard Lobera said via a translator at the pot-match press conference at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
"These things decide the game and we weren't good in those moments. When you are playing so well and then concede a goal, it affects you. Conceding twice in four minutes affects you more. I think we couldn't pull ourselves back into the game since then," he added.
Lobera, however, was pleased with the players' performances in the season. "It is a difficult moment to think of the positives but I'm very happy with the performances of my Indian and foreign players.
"And from here on now, we have to analyse the season and start planning for the future and how to improve ourselves."
( 402 Words)