NORTHEAST HAD A STERN TEST of their mettle as they needed to win against Delhi, who had been on a goal scoring spree. Both keepers played an instrumental part in their teams' performance, pulling off some good saves along the way.
Speaking to the reporters after the game, an elated Vingada said,
“We had a belief that we could get a point. The game between Kerala and Atlético de Kolkata finished in a draw, so we knew we also had to do the same, that a win or draw for us would mean the same. So, we did not start the game very well but the second half was much better for us. In the first half we were lucky as they missed a good chance and TP Rehenesh made a good save"
Delhi, that had no trouble scoring in many of their games managed to score just one late in the game. Zambrotta didn't looked too pleased with his side's performance and he said to on the media,
“We made a lot of mistakes and we played with low intensity. We did not concentrate and it's right that today we lost. We will learn from this loss and pick ourselves up. I’m not happy with the way we played today because we played with low intensity, which is not our way to play. And NEUFC today were very fast and they concentrated well, and now we have to learn from this loss because the semis will be tough for us,”
Speaking about the performances of his players and the his outlook towards the upcoming encounter said,
“Emiliano Alfaro created good chances and if any team deserved to win, then our team was the correct winner and today I am not only happy with the win but I am also happy with the performance, attitude and the way we played, especially in the second half, and if we can play like the way we played today, like the way we played in Delhi and Chennai, then we can do well in Kochi and there will be fifty-sixty thousand people and I have been involved in games which have a large number of spectators, and so we are alive and are playing well, and now we will rest and enjoy this win, and then let’s see"
On the Lion's next fixture against table toppers Mumbai City FC, Zambrotta shared,
“It is very difficult to say which will be our position, second, third fourth or first. If we continue to play like we played today, we will finish fourth position but I think if we win in Mumbai our position in the ladder will change. If we start to play in a different way with more intensity, then we will be able to decide ourselves as to where we will be finishing,”
NorthEast supporters recieved shower of praises from Vingada. He continued saying,
“These fans who were here today were fantastic and the fans that came here today believe it is still possible for us to qualify and I feel we have won the respect of the other teams. All the games we have played, we have looked in the eyes of the opponent teams and given them some tough times. I think if qualification was made on performance, then we have already qualified but the qualification and championships are decided by points, so we need three points and it is the only way to reach the semi-finals and we will give it our best to win. John Abraham also but the players deserve more than the others as they train, they suffer and they try. We are a good family and I am very proud to be a part of this family and I will cherish these memories.”
Answering a question, if he would come back for another season of Indian Super League, Zambrotta replied saying,
“I have one more year left in the contract and if the owner wants me I have no problem. If they decide to have me, I will be more than happy to continue here in the ISL,”
Vingada speaking about the mental approach and preparation towards the next game said,
"Of course nobody is perfect and my players are also not perfect but my players work hard to be the best and now let’s see what happens and we respect them and it will be a hard game,”
Giving an update on Velez's injury, Vingada said,
"We will have to see tomorrow. I think it cannot be a serious injury because in the beginning he felt some pain and we didn’t insist on him playing anymore. Suppose today was the last game, maybe he could continue. To prevent any serious injury we took him off. He has been an important player to us. Now when we have all the players available, the team has a good identity and can support any player that comes in. Even today Robert Cullen came on and we could still keep up the same level of performance. The second half was special, it was very good.”
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