In the pre-match conference, NorthEast United coach Nelo Vingada said that he did not believe in history repeating itself. And true to his words, NorthEast United defeated FC Goa, comprehensively by two goals, to register their first ever victory against the Goan side.
He sets his eyes next Mumbai City FC, who they play this Saturday and the new NorthEast United coach was not shy in sending a message to the Maharashtra side: “We hope to make our game tough for them also because we have quality and fast players upfront,” said Vingada.
He is quite aware of what the Mumbai team are capable of and added, “Mumbai, comparing last season and their formation this season, they seem stronger than last season. This season they have a coach with a lot of experience along with some good players.”
A fan of Zico, Vingada rated the Goan side very highly and said, “Goa is a very good team with very good quality players. Some of them have already played very high level. And I believe Goa will be one of the contenders for the title this year”.
Subrata Pal was crucial, says Vingada
Vingada praised his players, especially his goalkeeper, Subrata Pal. “It was a really tough game, but was also a good game. There were a lot of very good situations on both sides. Our goalkeeper was very crucial to keep our goal safe, but we also created very good chances to score,” said the coach.
“And to be honest, 2-0 was a little too hard for them. The result should have been 3-2; any result would have been possible,” the coach added.
Happy to beat a strong opponent – Vingada
After the first match against Kerala, the Portuguese coach knew that his side needed to step up if they are to beat last year’s runners-up FC Goa. And the visitors made sure that they gave The Highlanders a tough time, right from the start.
But Vingada’s men scored at crucial moments to register a historic win at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Guwahati.
“Today, I am even more happy because the opponent team was very strong and we finished the game better today than the last game,” said the coach.
Zico praises Pal; doesn’t lay blame on his keeper
Meanwhile, FC Goa coach Zico, was visibly disappointed but defended his team. A lot of fingers were raised at his goalkeeper Laximikanth Kattimani, but the Brazilian veteran did not single out his performance.
“It is not a normal that that usually happens with Kattimani, he has been with us for the last two years. And when we lose, we lose as everyone, not because of one player” he said.
The coach also acknowledged the performance of the opposition goalkeeper, Subrata Paul and said, “We created a lot of chances in the game but one of the best performers of the day was Paul because to saved quite a few good balls.”
Taking nothing away from the team, the coach also insisted that this is just the beginning of the tournament and there is still a lot to be done. “We played well, we tried our best. But we could not overcome the result. But this is just the beginning of the tournament,” said Zico.
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