Back-to-back victories for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League as they thrash Chennaiyin FC in a 0-3 game at the Tilak Maidan courtesy to the goals from Sahal Abdul Samad, Adrian Luna and Jorge Diaz.
Kerala Blasters are slowly climbing up the spots in the points table and after the game against Chennaiyin FC, they comfortably sit at the third position with twelve points while with the loss, Chennaiyin moves down to the sixth position.
Here’s what the post-match thoughts of the game looked like.
Sahal spoke about scoring back-to-back goals and its secret.
“No secrets, just hard work. I was waiting for this moment to keep on scoring. Thank God, coach and my players, it’s not just me, we all are working hard for winning such games and it gives so much confidence to me and our team. I’m proud of my team and myself for scoring.”
On back to back victories
“We keep our heads on our shoulders and keep working hard. What’s over is over and we focus on what’s coming next. We start from tomorrow for the next game.”
Message for fans.
” We really miss them here. I wish I scored my goal in front of the fans. My first goal in the ISL was against Chennai from Kochi, so I really miss them so much. It is what it is, we miss them.”
Chennaiyin FC head coach Božidar Bandović spoke about the game
“First of all, I need to congratulate the opponents for winning the game. It was our fourth game in short days, we weren’t fresh and we had a very bad day today. Of course, we wanted to risk after losing the game in halftime but didn’t come out and we need to congratulate the opponents because we weren’t good today. “
“Of course not, we did know that some things are very good, of course, we as a team, we didn’t play well and opponent shown more confidence especially after scoring the goals. But I think we are the ones, we didn’t play well.”
Reasons for defensive lapses.
“Of course, the first goal was from the open ball, the second goal was a little under the pressure. Usually all these games, it was very stable in defense, today we didn’t press the ball well, we lost all the duels, 50-50 balls, second balls and even in attacking, we had a bad day today. Maybe we can say that the second half was a little better but it is not enough to win the game.”
Positives to take out from the game.
“We now know that we need to be there hundred per cent in every game. I need to say that I was a little waiting, my team is not fresh, we played in a very short time, this was our fourth game. This is not an excuse. We should play better because we have shown previous games that we did very well, so today this wasn’t our picture.”
Long break before the next game helps?
“Yes. of course it helps to recover the players because we have four games in a very short time and like I said, I was expecting players not to be fresh but this is not an excuse for not playing good. It will to recover and out the team together and try to win the next game.”
Kerala Blasters’ Adrian Luna bagged the Hero Of The Match award and on being asked about the game he said
“It feels very good, we won 3-0, we played good, we pressed high and we controlled the game from the first minute. I’m so happy to see my team play like that. We have to rest and we go again Sunday.”
On being asked about whether it was a perfect game.
“I think we will be perfect when our two strikers score. Alvaro, in this game he didn’t score but he played well. We are happy, we have to rest, have to be focussed on the next game.
Alvaro and Harmanjot Khabra was seen grooving to some dance moves and talking about the story behind that he said
“This was Khabra’s idea because we have one teammate who runs like that, so we were making fun of him. This shows how good we are with our teammates and all the matter in our team.”
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan spoke about the game.
On the recipe for a turnaround
“In football, there are several things but first of all, it’s hard work, belief and commitment to the team, believing that you can win every game. These boys, the great mentality and mindset they are showing, every day again, hard work delivering, we are so proud of them and we are very happy with the performances so far.
We know that it will be very hard, we know that it will be a very hard period. On the other side when you have that kind of a group with that mentality, positive approach to certain things, in football, it’s easier to work and continue and of course when you have that improvement mark in your group, then you just have to continue to believe in it, build up further on and hope for the best.”
On beating a defensively strong side.
“We knew before that Chennaiyin has the best defense so far, we knew that it will be a tough game especially with their defensive block, we knew that in a certain movement, with our approach and tactical high pressing we have to be clinical and very quick in our decision making, try to find the free man and trying to finish those actions and it happened today again like it was the case against Mumbai City FC and we are pleased with that.
So we had an idea, we had a strategy how to attack the game, in what part of the fields to make pressure. I’m pleased that the boys understood very well what we were asking from them and of course at the end, we must be pleased with the 3-0 again with the new three points, with the clean sheet.”
On consecutive clean-sheets for Gil
“Of course, especially for a young goalkeeper, it’s a huge achievement and when the defense line, your whole defensive block, they are working good, closing all the gaps, when you are concentrated in your line and don’t concede of course it gives more and more confidence.
Since we started, he’s delivering a great job, now when he gets his momentum and chance, he has to continue working hard with our goalkeeper coach, with the team and become even better. He can do it, we have huge confidence in all our players and of course, these kinds of clean sheets can boost our confidence even more and try to build us further on up like an unbeatable team and that’s what we want to continue.”
Importance of JFC game on Boxing day
“Every game for us is important. We are not looking at the total of ISL. We are looking at our objective, game per game and every game in this ISL for us will be crucial, will be important.
Jamshedpur is again one team that we face in the preseason period like Chennaiyin and again this is a tough team to beat, this is a physical team, we have to be ready for physical work, we have to be ready for duels. I think that we will see both teams wanting to win all three points, play good football, and then of course like I always say let the better team win.”
Chennaiyin FC player Lukasz Gikiewicz spoke about the game.
What went wrong?
” I don’t know. We lost every duel, every second ball, this is not our team, not our style. We must say sorry for the fans. You can lose even 1,2,0 but play like this, it’s not possible.”
On being asked about the teams fewer goals.
“It’s not important how many goals you score. Its important how many points you get after the second round. We don’t care about goals, we must take game by game, points by points. If we won today 1-0, we would have 7 goals and 14 points, second place on the table, that means goals are not important. From the first minutes, something happened, I don’t know what happened, for sure coach will analyse this game, check again and learn from the mistakes. I hope we will play the next game better because worse, you cannot play like this.”
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