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ISL: "Happy with the first clean sheet of the season," says Odisha boss Kiko Ramirez

Odisha FC move to the second spot in the table after a 1-0 win over North East United FC.

ISL: Happy with the first clean sheet of the season, says Odisha boss Kiko Ramirez

Archan Mukherjee

Published: 11 Dec 2021 6:02 AM GMT

A late second-half goal from Jonathas de Jesus gave Odisha FC a 1-0 home win over North East United FC on Friday. The result lifted them to second place in the Indian Super League.

The Highlanders controlled the first half of the match but couldn't capitalize on their chances. Odisha forward Jonathas came on for Liridon Krasniqi in the 62nd minute and struck the winner 19 minutes later from a Thoiba Singh cross. His only goal helped the Kalinga Warriors to get back to the winning ways.

Odisha FC head coach Kiko Ramirez; (Image via ISL)

Following the win, Odisha FC head coach Kiko Ramirez addressed the media in the post-match press conference.

Impact of Jonathas de Jesus on the game

Odisha FC badly missed Jonathas' energy and ability to link up the play during their 2-1 defeat to Kerala Blasters. The 32-year-old came off the bench to head home a superb cross from Thoiba Singh in the 81st minute with the scores poised at 0-0. After the game, the Spanish coach spoke about the impact of the Brazilian.

"We are happy that he (Jonathas) has now got his first goal. This goal will release all the pressure from him. The way he performed tonight, I feel, he has probably forgotten about the muscle injury he had. We are happy to have him on board,"
quipped Kiko.

On the win

North East created more chances and had more shots in the game but was not as clinical as Odisha. Talking about the win Kiko was very delighted and he was quoted saying, "We are happy that we kept our first clean sheet of the season. Last week we had more chances than our opponent and today it is just the opposite and this is football"

"Sometimes you score, sometimes you don't. Our defence line was very organised against North East's attacking force so we are very happy with the result," he added further.

Thoughts on the point table

The Kalinga Warriors are currently second in the ISL table with nine points from four games. When asked about his team's position in the points table, the tactician replied, "Right now, our only focus is on the next match against Jamshedpur FC and we can't think about what will happen after 16 matches."

Update on Hector Rodas

Hector Rodas misses out on the game against the Highlanders due to an ankle injury. Kiko provided an update on the defender's injury.

He said, "We had some players with muscle issues this week. This is not a big concern as we prefer to give them adequate rest. Moreover, we're happy with the performance of Bora (Gaurav). He performed very well and this is really good for the team."

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