It was jubilant a Nelo Vingada that appeared at the post-match press conference after NorthEast United overpowered Delhi Dynamos 2-1 to keep their semi-final hopes alive. The battle, however, is half won as of yet.
“These are the people who believe that they can do anything. A win or a draw keeps the same situation for us,” said the coach.
The home team had a nervous start as Delhi dominated the initial proceedings and came close to scoring.
“We did not come into the match in the first few moments of the game. We did not play well initially, but after that, we controlled most time of the game. The second half was much better,” the coach added.
Lucky in the first half
He also acknowledged the fact that they were indeed lucky that they did not concede in the first half. “We were lucky in the first half as Delhi missed a very good chance also Rehenesh made a fantastic save. But after that even in the first half we created some good chance,” said Nelo. He, however, was adamant about the fact that his team was the correct winner. “Our team was the correct winner,” quipped the man known as ‘the professor’.
It now all boils down to Sunday when NorthEast plays Kerala in a virtual quarterfinal at Kochi. The coach though looked confident but he is wary of the difficult atmosphere he will be facing in Kochi.
“Today I am happy not only with the result but I am happy for the attitude, for the performance and for the way we played in the second half. If we can play like this against Delhi, which is probably the strongest team in the league, we can be optimistic about playing in a fantastic atmosphere in Kochi,” said the coach.
Just like NorthEast, Kerala enjoys insane support from its fans and Nelo and his team very well understands that they have to deal with. “The game will be 11 versus 11. But if we play against the crowd, which will probably be fifty to sixty thousand, then no chance,” he added.
“We are alive, we are making good games. I believe we can win for sure,” said the coach who became quite emotional in the end.
On the other hand, Delhi coach Zambrotta acknowledged the mistakes committed by his team and believes that they need to prepare well for the playoffs.
“We committed a lot of mistakes today. The problem was that we played with a very low intensity. We will now concentrate more. We have to learn from this loss. This is not the way we play. We have to learn because the playoff will be very difficult for us,” the coach said.
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