We’re fighting to get maximum trophies: Habas

Insight Online News

Kolkata, April 29 : Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Antonio Habas expressed satisfaction with his team’s collective effort following their victory over Odisha FC in the second leg of the Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday night.

The Mariners needed to overcome a 1-2 deficit from the first leg at the Kalinga Stadium to progress to the final. Despite the pressure, Mohun Bagan SG rose to the occasion, with Jason Cummings and Sahal Abdul Samad scoring crucial goals in an intense, edge-of-the-seat contest.

The Mariners secured a 3-2 aggregate victory, earning their place in their second consecutive ISL final. This achievement follows their successful run in the 2022-23 season, where they claimed their first ISL Cup.

Thanks to their comeback, Mohun Bagan SG will have another shot at the title, and Habas praised his players for their resilience and hard work in reaching the ISL final once again.

“The team has one important thing that is the energy and belief in the staff.. The players, substitutes went into the pitch with the same intensity, the same emotion, (with) the sight of win, this is the most important. The participation of all players, the whole squad in the final result, this was the most important,” Habas said in the post-match press conference.

In the second leg semi-final, Mohun Bagan SG carved out the clearer opportunities on goal. Despite Odisha FC enjoying more possession, the Mariners registered 17 shots compared to their opponent’s nine.

Coach Habas emphasised his unwavering faith in his players to deliver, even after trailing in the first leg.

“We continued the same way. (The game in) Odisha was one match and this was another match. I knew that we would have a lot of possibilities to pass the victory with our style of win, with our supporters and with the mentality of the players.. The state of the players’ mentality now is very, very strong. I trust 100 percent in my players,” he revealed.

Habas is on the brink of coaching his fourth ISL final. In his previous three finals, he clinched victory twice – first in 2014 and then in the 2019-20 season with Kolkata-based ATK FC.

Since taking over as Mohun Bagan SG’s head coach in January, he has led the team to the League Shield and now has them within reach of an ISL Cup, positioning them to potentially finish the season with a prestigious double.

“I think my time (here in Kolkata) is good as a love story from the first day. Different names, different people and the same owner evidently. I’m very happy to be with Mohun Bagan Super Giant now. We are fighting to get the maximum trophies for the supporters,” he said.

The Spanish coach praised the support from the fans. Over 60,000 people filled the Salt Lake Stadium, with a large contingent of Mohun Bagan SG supporters cheering the team on.

“I’m proud of the supporters. This communion with the team is very important for us, for the city and evidently for Mohun Bagan (SG),” he said.

“When we need more (motivation) to win the match, it’s the supporters (who help us),” Habas added.

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