I was always confident of my team, says ATK coach Jose Molina

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I was always confident of my team, says ATK coach Jose Molina

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SportsCafe Desk


Atletico de Kolkata registered a 3-2 victory in the first leg of semi-final against Mumbai City FC and head coach Jose Molina felt that they were the better team throughout. Molina was also optimistic about ATK's final chances with Mumbai's marquee player Diego Forlan suspended for the second leg.

Despite winning just one match from their seven home matches in the 2016 edition at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium the inaugural edition winners turned on the style to edge out in-form Mumbai City FC 3-2 in the first leg of the semifinal on Saturday. An opener from Lalridinka Ralte and dual strikes from Canadian striker Iain Hume sealed a superb victory for ATK. And Atletico's head coach Jose Molina thinks that the match was an exciting one and his side were clearly the dominant team.

''I think it was a great match - the first 45 minutes of course, with five goals, and the second with no goals. I think the whole match was great and we dominated the match for 90 minutes,'' Molina said, reported Goal.com.

''It's true that by mid-way through the first half they (Mumbai City FC) scored two goals but it was only two actions, two free-kicks. They did not dominate. I am happy with my team. They did a great job. Mumbai had a great team, great attackers but their shots on target were only twice,'' he added.

Speaking about Mumbai captain Diego Forlan's sending off, the Spaniard felt that the striker was frustrated about his performance on the night leading to a second booking that will now keep him out of the second leg at Mumbai.

''One thing that is clear about this is (Diego) Forlan was sent off is because he was frustrated that he could do nothing here,'' he remarked.

Ahead of the second leg on 13th December, the 46-year old believes that his team have good chance of progressing to the final.

''I am always confident of my team. Of course we are one goal ahead and their marquee player will not play. That is important. What makes me confident is to see my team working, how they play, that is what made me confident. We have to be calm and we need to be absolutely clear that in Mumbai we need to keep up the same intensity,'' voiced the former goalkeeper.

Speaking about the changes he made for the match, Molina stated that he does not have a clear starting XI for the tournament.

''I don't think we have a clear first eleven. Doesn't matter if we play with Prabir (Das) or Pritam (Kotal). Everyone is working. We did not have Arnab (Mondal) due to injury and Kinshuk (Debnath) is training hard from the first day and he got a chance. I am happy because I have a great team and great players trying to help the team. We will try to choose the best eleven in the next match,'' he explained.

Molina also felt that the injury central defender Arnab Mondal suffered could keep him out of second leg at Mumbai Football Arena.

''The injury is a little bit serious and there is no time to recover, only two-to-three days and so I think he is out. It's impossible that he can play in Mumbai,'' said Molina.

Stressing on the next plans with the team, Molina said, ''Now, the most important thing is to recover. You have to recover because you have to play with the same intensity. I am happy because I have players on the bench that I can use for the next match.”

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