Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 3 (ANI): Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau was satisfied with the team's performance as the Juggernauts shared the spoils against Chennaiyin FC in a 2-2 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai, in the latest fixture of the Indian Super League (ISL), on Thursday.
Diego Mauricio opened the scoring for the Juggernauts in the 24th minute only for Chennaiyin FC's skipper Anirudh Thapa to equalise a minute later in the 25th minute. Isak Vanlalruatfela gave the visitors the lead in the 48th minute with a close-range finish before his goal was cancelled out by Abdenasser El Khayati, who scored the second goal of the night for the home team in the 57th minute.
The draw saw Odisha FC move back to the sixth spot while Chennaiyin FC continue to remain put at the eighth position, five points behind Odisha FC. Gombau expressed his satisfaction with a draw on the road and aimed for a top-six finish.
"It's a good point, away from home. And we need to compete game by game. We have four more games and at the end of the season, we will see where we are. We are aiming to be in the top six and we want to play the playoffs," Gombau said in the official post-match press conference.
The Juggernauts have found it difficult for themselves to get wins on the travel as they have only managed two victories out of nine away fixtures while bagging five victories out of seven matches at home. Gombau spoke about how the team is doing well at the Kalinga Stadium and the hunger to be in the playoffs.
"We are a team that is doing well at home. It's not easy to get points away from home. We played three games back to back. We have one more away game and three matches are going to be at home, which we need to be optimistic about and work game by game but we need to have this hunger to be in the playoffs," Gombau said.
Gombau was forced into making a substitution during the first half, with Lalruatthara Bose replacing Osama Malik. The Spaniard make three additional substitutions during the second half, bringing on Raynier Fernandes, Denechandra Meetei and Shubham Sarangi. The Odisha FC head coach shed light on how the team defended well in the last parts of the game and made heavy rotations to keep players fresh for the upcoming fixtures.
"The point that we got against Chennaiyin FC is a good one, knowing that Chennaiyin FC had a lot of chances and the last part of the game we defended our point. I'm also happy that we used different players and this shows the strength of the team and we need everybody because we play every four days. Everybody is bringing in the mentality and we want to be in the top six," Gombau stated.
"I made the changes after half-time because our team plays again after three days, so made the rotations to keep our players fresh for the fixture against FC Goa," Gombau concluded. (ANI)