Super Cup: Sergio Lobera rues Goa's defensive display, praises improved set-piece efficiency

FC Goa registered a hard-fought 4-3 win over Jamshedpur FC to progress into the semifinals of the Super Cup.

Sergio Lobera redited his assistant coach for his team's improved set-piece efficiency.   -  AIFF Media

Jamshedpur FC assistant coach Guillermo Fernandez rued the two set-piece goals conceded by the team in the first half of the 3-4 quarterfinal defeat against FC Goa in the Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday.

Goa took a 2-0 lead in the opening 45 minutes from two free-kicks which was turned in by its skipper Edu Bedia and Jamshedpur’s Pablo Morgado, inadvertently into his own net. The Indian Super League finalist struck twice again in the second half before Jamshedpur mounted a comeback with three quick-fire goals but in the end, it could not find the much-needed equaliser.

Fernandez said, “At the end of the day, we are not happy about the two goals conceded from set pieces. The team played quite good to come back from being 4-1 down. The free-kick was quite good [for the first goal] so it’s difficult to defend it. The second one could have been avoided by clearing it easily but everyone makes mistakes.”

Jamshedpur handed a rare start for 20-year-old goalkeeper Ali Sardar, who was nervy under the bar during the first half, ahead of the experienced Subrata Pal. Fernandez, however, justified Cesar Fernando’s decision.

“He deserved it. He trained hard the whole year. Today, we decided to give him the chance because he is outstanding in training every single day. He didn’t make any mistakes today and the goalkeeping coach thinks the same.”

Goa coach Sergio Lobera wasn’t pleased with the way his side threw away a three-goal advantage in the second half. “I am very happy with the performance until we went up 4-1 because we were able to manage the game well. Then we didn't and let them come back.

He added, “Tactical wise, we didn’t read the game well. We didn’t know when to play from the back and when we should. There is a difference between being brave and risky.”

Bedia received a second yellow inside the last quarter of the game which rules him out of the semifinal clash against the reigning I-League champion Chennai City FC.

“He will be a big miss for us. Due to the rules of the competition (registering six foreign players in the squad), I left out Ahmed Jahouh, who could play in the same position. I don’t think it was a yellow card but we have to come back from the situation,” said the Spaniard.

Lobera also praised his team’s improvement from set-pieces. “I think our assistant coach has done a great job where we have improved with our offensive and defensive set-pieces,” he pointed out.