FC Goa vs Atletico de Kolkata
FC Goa goalkeeper Jan Seda punches the ball away from from danger during his side clash against Atletico de Kolkata in the second leg semi-finals of the Indian Super LeagueISL's Official Website

Atletico de Kolkata fitness coach Miguel Martinez feels that his side's defensive strategy resulted in their victory against FC Goa (on 4-2 penalties) and progress to the final of the Hero Indian Super League.

After a goalless draw in the first leg of the semi-finals, Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa again failed to break the deadlock in the second leg, and this resulted in the match going into penalties, where the Sourav Ganguly co-owned side finally emerged victorious.

And Martinez, who was filling in for Antonio López Habas after the Kolkata manager was taken to the hospital following a dizzy spell on the pitch, feels that his team's strategy to not concede any goals worked against Goa.

"It is not easy to score goals. Of course, we would like to score five goals every match. Our strategy tonight was not to concede. It worked out in the end," Martinez told ISL's official website.

On being asked whether he expects the ISL final against Kerala Blasters to be a tough game, Martinez replied: "Every game has been difficult. The final is a whole different ball game. We hope to win it, of course, but we're also looking to enjoy ourselves while doing so."

Kolkata's marquee player Luis Garcia, on the other hand, despite admitting that his team were a little off track towards the end of the group stages, feels that they have proved that they are a very tough team to beat.

"We were leading for 10 games in a row. It is true that we struggled a bit in between, but we have shown that we are a hard side to beat. It wasn't only now, we showed it long back."

Meanwhile, FC Goa boss Zico blamed the referee for their defeat in the second leg semi-final against Kolkata, insisting that the match official "denied Santos a clear penalty."

"This was the same referee who refereed the match between Kerala and Kolkata where Luis García was disallowed a goal," the Brazilian legend told ISL's official website.

"Maybe, he wanted to make amends when he denied Santos a clear penalty. I don't understand how this referee was given this game. Even in the last league match, Bruno (Pinheiro) was sent off unfairly and today this happened," he added.

The 61-year-old boss also feels that Kolkata played a very defensive game, claiming that Habas' side were prepared for the match to go into penalties.

"Kolkata marked us well tonight. We tried hard. (Jan) Šeda barely had to make a save during the match. Their goalkeeper had a good game. But we just couldn't take our chances. They didn't have Fikru (Teferra) in the side as well. They lost a bit of power in their forward line. It was clear that their game plan was to play for penalties and it worked out for them."