Jose Molina on post-match scuffle: I think it’s absolutely dirty

Kolkata
14 Dec 2016

“I don't know. I couldn't understand. I don't know who started it but I think it's absolutely dirty. You should fight inside the pitch during 90 minutes. It should end within 90 minutes but it shouldn't continue ahead. I don’t like it and I couldn't see it all. Maybe you'll know on television, maybe you can analyse from it,” he commented.

Robert Lalthlamuana was shown a red card in the first half as Kolkata endured close to 50 minutes with a man down.

“Much better to play with 11 than 10 but maybe with 10 we got stronger in defense. Mumbai didn't have enough resources to beat our defense. But I prefer to play with 11,” he mentioned.

Interestingly, Molina didn’t choose Helder Postiga, Iain Hume, Sameehg Doutie and six more players from the first leg of the play-offs. The former Kitchee SC coach was asked to explain his selection.“I don't know who'll play in the finals. I tried to put best eleven today. We had to travel and so there was not much time to recover. We have a lot of good players like Javi Lara, Abhinash (Ruidas) and others. So why should I play with the same line-up? I am absolutely happy with them (those I left on the bench). We have to see recovery before putting our line up for the final,” he reasoned.

Questioned if his players executed their game plan to perfection, Molina opined that going down to 10 men allowed them to stay compact and not afford Mumbai space to pick their passes in the attacking third.

“Yes in the second half, no in the first half. We gave them too much space to play in the first half which gave them a big chance to score. We weren't comfortable with the ball in the first 20-to-25 minutes. Later we started to do well. With Robert sent off, we did well. In the second half, we played better because we tried to do something different by not allowing them much space. The plan was good and I'm absolutely happy,” he explained.

Atletico de Kolkata will come up against the winner of Delhi Dynamos or Kerala Blasters on Sunday in Kochi. The 46-year-old had a diplomatic response when asked to predict the outcome of the second semi-final.

“I don't know. I focus on my match. We did watch their first leg and it was a good game. It will be a different match tomorrow at a different stadium. Who knows what will happen tomorrow! We'll watch the match at Kolkata on our television comfortably,” he said.The Red and White outfit have been the most consistent side in the ISL having qualified for the play-offs in each of the last three seasons.

“I can't talk too much about the last two years; I can speak of this season. Atletico de Kolkata is doing a good job - the owners, team management. Everyone is working to achieve one common aim. Everyone is working in the same direction. They are trying to help the team. It's working well, and as a part of Atletico de Kolkata, I am really happy. Three semis in three years, we'll go for the second title now!” he signed off.