Božidar Bandović’s Chennaiyin FC kicked off their ISL campaign with a hard-fought victory over Hyderabad FC on 23rd November. Vladimir Koman slotted in a penalty in the 66th minute to earn the Marina Machans all 3 points on the night.
Hyderabad FC came close to scoring on multiple occasions but lacked the final finish, as Bart Ogbeche missed some gilt-edged chances. Chennai did enough defensively to oust the Nizams’ waves of attacks, keeping just 36% ball possession.
Chennaiyin Head Coach Božidar Bandović sat down for a chat with the media along with Vladimir Koman ahead of their second game against NorthEast United FC.
Speaking about his side’s inability to keep the ball in the first game, Bandović said, “In training, my players have shown that they can hold the ball, it’s only a matter of time before we do it. You cannot resolve this with one training session. It’s their first game after many months and sometimes they showed so much desire to win that they lost concentration sometimes. We will try to hold the ball more in the game.”
Rafael Crivellaro, Chennaiyin’s captain last year, has been sidelined for the first few games after suffering a muscle injury. Vladimir Koman played a similar role in the first game, scoring the winner.
“I have stated before that my teams never depend on an individual to win football matches. Of course, we need all our players so that I have more options but we need to keep working without Rafa and my players are talented enough to produce results.”
NorthEast United lost by a margin of 4-2 in their opening game against Bengaluru FC. The Highlanders finished in the playoffs last year after an incredible resurgence under the tutelage of Khalid Jamil.
“For me, there is no easy game. NorthEast may have lost 2 points in the first game, but they are a great side. They reached the playoffs last year. We need to concentrate on ourselves, our game, and our improvement. Many teams are conceding early around 20 minutes, we need to concentrate throughout the 90 minutes and make sure we don’t let any goals in.”
After announcing himself in the Indian Super League in style, Vladimir Koman spoke about his personal and professional goals from the season, “My target is to make this a good championship, then make it to the top 4 and finally win the cup. I always aim as high as possible.”
Božidar Bandović and Chennaiyin will look to make it two out of two and join ATK Mohun Bagan FC at the top of the table with 6 points as they take on NorthEast United in the second game, who are still licking their wounds from the loss to Bengaluru FC.
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