Mohun Bagan Super Giant assistant head coach Clifford Miranda expressed pride in his team as they mounted a comeback from a 2-0 deficit to secure a draw against Odisha FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday, saying that there was only one team that wanted to win and it was their team. Facing a 2-0 deficit in the first half, courtesy of an Ahmed Jahouh brace, the Mariners encountered significant challenges. In the 58th minute, star forward Armando Sadiku scored for Mohun Bagan Super Giant, reigniting their hopes. Sadiku completed his brace in injury time, levelling the score at 2-2 and sharing the spoils in one of the most exciting matches of the season so far. Mohun Bagan Super Giant 2-2 Odisha FC, ISL 2023-24: Brace Heroics from Armando Sadiku and Ahmed Jahouh Result in Thrilling Draw.
After the full-time whistle, Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Juan Ferrando and Odisha FC forward Diego Mauricio received marching orders for engaging in a scuffle, adding more spice to the fixture. Analysing the match, the assistant head coach felt that his team deserved to get all three points.
"I think we had good moments in the first half, especially when we started the game, and we should have been up by a couple of goals. But this is football and sometimes you win, you lose. We came back very, very strongly in the second half and you could see right from the beginning that there was only one team who wanted to win the game, and that was Mohun Bagan(Super Giant)," Miranda stated in the post-match press conference as quoted by an ISL press release.
Hugo Boumous sustained an injury during the warm-up session, and both Anirudh Thapa and Sahal Abdul Samad, along with substitute Glan Martins, also suffered injuries, further extending their injury list. The 41-year-old coach believes that the team is facing increasing challenges due to the tight schedule and numerous injuries but expresses confidence in the depth of his squad.
He shared, "It is difficult because, especially with a lot of injuries. But then we knew this from the beginning and that is why we have a squad. We have other players who can fill up and hopefully will be able to do the job."
Praising his team's effort on such a crucial night, Miranda tags them as phenomenal.
"The effort of the entire team right from minute one to minute 98 has been phenomenal. You know, not just the players who are playing, but the players who are on the bench. And I think we have a very, very good squad. Not in just terms of ability, but in terms of character as well," said Miranda.
Player of the match Armando Sadiku accompanied Miranda to the post-match press conference. Expressing joy at having scored on such a special night, the Albanian international shared, "Every time I try to do my best. Sometimes I score, and sometimes I pass for the other. So this time I scored. I'm happy. To help the team (I) give (my) 100 per cent every time, so I am happy."
Sadiku expressed confidence that his team could have clinched a victory with an additional five minutes, "If we have five minutes more, I am sure we are going to score and win this game."
Miranda concluded the conference by sharing his outlook on the upcoming games. He believes his team has performed well by focusing on one match at a time instead of thinking too far into the future and wishes to maintain the same approach. Shillong Lajong 2–0 Churchill Brothers, I-League- 2023–24: Laiwang Bohham, Renan Paulino De Souza Scores As Unstoppable Reds Register Four Straight Home Wins.
"For us, the most important thing is the next game. The next game and we do not think beyond that. We have come up to now thinking match by match, and we do not think what's going to happen five weeks later. What is the most important thing is the next game and the next game and the next game. So we need to think and we are thinking only about the next game and that's it," he added.
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