Guwahati, Jan 16 (UiTV/IANS) – NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese was delighted with his side’s performance as the Highlanders salvaged a crucial point in a thrilling 2-2 draw against FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, here.
Edu Bedia saw his opener cancelled out by a Wilmar Gil penalty during injury time of the opening half. Gil came to NorthEast United FC’s rescue again in the second half as he scored from the spot again after FC Goa had reclaimed their lead through Iker Guarrotxena, states indiansuperleague.com.
Annese was pleased with the way his side attacked on the front foot against FC Goa and stated his team can improve even further.
“We drew against a quality team. They (have players who) have played together for many years like Bedia and same for Brandon (Fernandes). We know their quality. I’m so happy for the performance when we started to press them in the attacking phase going forward and before, it never happened. So we need to keep up this improvement and the guys can do much better.
“They have scope to improve and under me, we have played different football. I don’t want to say it’s better, but it is different. I like to press forward. I don’t like to sit back and then counter attack,” he stated in the official post-match press conference.
“We had many positives except we missed a one-on-one easy goal in the first 10 minutes. We need to concentrate more on our attacking phase. I liked the way we switched the ball from right to left, it was amazing. We really loved the performance of everybody, but we can do much better. I believe our team can improve more and more. We can create something special for the future.. and I hope we work in this direction for the future,” Annese added.
Annese made two changes to his starting lineup following their defeat to Bengaluru FC, with Jithin MS and new signing Kule Mbombo featuring in place of Romain Phillipoteaux and Rochharzela. Annese felt it was a team effort that contributed to a draw and had words of praise for Mbombo, who made his Hero ISL debut.
Not happy with the performance of my team: FC Goa head coach Pena
FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena was disappointed to have not been able to come away with three points in a thrilling 2-2 draw against NorthEast United FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, here.
The Gaurs opened the scoring in the first half when midfielder Edu Bedia put the ball in the net but the Highlanders came back into the game with a Wilmar Gil penalty before the end of the first half, reports indiansuperleague.com.
The second half witnessed two more penalties as both sides scored one each in the second half. FC Goa reclaimed the lead through Iker Guarroxtena before Wilmar Gil pulled one back for the home side.
The draw meant FC Goa stay in the sixth position with 20 points while NorthEast United FC are at the bottom of the table with four points from 14 games.
FC Goa head coach Pena pointed out the difference at both ends of the pitch and felt that if his team had dominated in attack and defence, then they could have come home with three points.
“It was disappointing because today was a day to get three points, if we had dominated both the boxes then it was a day to get all three points. We created chances and we couldn’t convert, we gave them too many chances to score a goal and I think they (NorthEast United FC) were better in the boxes,” the head coach said in the official post-match press conference.
The Gaurs conceded two penalties which turned out to be the decisive moments of the game helping the home side earn a big point against a strong opposition.
“I am not sure if both are penalties but now is not the time to complain and give excuses. When you score you have to defend with whatever you have, so yes I am upset as we were looking forward to three points tonight,” the Spaniard said.
The Gaurs have dropped points from a winning position for the first time this season and for the Highlanders, it was their first draw of the campaign. Pena did not consider the result as a surprise and felt that NEUFC had improved a lot going into the second half of the season.
“I was not surprised, they changed their way of playing and I have watched their (NorthEast United FC’s) every game and I knew they would improve and put more presence into the boxes. They created more problems for us with two strikers, I am sure that NorthEast United FC will get more points. Apart from that, I am not happy with the performance of my team as I think we need to give more,” the 39-year-old concluded.