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Today’s victory is very important for our semi-final hopes: Odisha FC’s interim head coach Kino Garcia

Odisha FC interim head coach Kino Garcia was pleased with the way his team executed their game plan as Odisha FC returned to winning ways after beating SC East Bengal 2-1 in Match 84 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama, Goa on Monday.

The Red and Gold Brigade’s second-half fightback wasn’t enough as Anotonio Perosevic’s (64′) equalizer after Jonathas (23′) had broken the deadlock in the first half was met with Javi Hernandez (75′) goal that sealed the affair in favour of the Odisha FC.

Match Report: Odisha FC pip SC East Bengal to remain in semi-final contention

Garcia’s men are now with 21 points from 15 games, five points adrift of leaders Hyderabad FC, while SC East Bengal are down and out with 10 points after 16 games.

Garcia addressed the media after the game.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

What are your thoughts on today’s victory?

My thoughts, I’m really happy today because after playing a draw against Goa. That draw felt like a loss because we were winning until they scored a goal in the 95th minute. So, winning today was important for us, that puts us in contention for the semi-finals. Really happy about the result, we have to improve some aspects but happy about the victory.

Read: We played better than Odisha FC and could’ve won the game: SC East Bengal’s Mario Rivera

How important was this win? Considering the direct rivals Mumbai City FC also got a win last night.

For us, it’s really important because a win today as it gives us a chances of being in the semi-final. This win was really tough. There are a lot of good teams involved in this process. But we knew SC East Bengal have improved a lot under Mario Rivera. So, we knew this match gonna be really tough. We were really aware of the situation and we knew that a victory today for us was really important.

SCEB was mostly silent in the first half. But do think you could have done better in terms of goal in the first half?

In the first half, we were better. But it’s true that we didn’t create many chances even even we had more possession that time. I feel that we have a pleasant first half. In the second half, I think that SC East Bengal improved and maybe also because we were a little nervous because we wanted to win this match, some bad passes and little misunderstanding in the team. After the draw, we started attacking again and we had some clear chances to score the second and maybe another goal.

Do think at the end of the league stage will goal difference play a part?

Maybe, now we have five matches to go. So now I’m thinking about the against Mumbai, which go to be a tough game. Also, both sides will be playing for a spot in the semi-finals. After the game, we’ll see if goal difference is important.

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