Aizawl FC ended their season on a high, by beating New Radiant SC of Maldives 2-1, and in turn, helping Bengaluru FC to qualify for the knock out stages of the AFC Cup. Aizawl played a different brand of football today, something which wasn’t seen this season. Andrei Ionescu scored a brace for the team from Mizoram which helped them get their first three points in the competition.
Santosh Kashyap the Aizawl gaffer did mention that his change in strategy and tactics was the main reason his side managed to win their first game in a Continental competition.
He emphasized the importance of the victory as his side helped another Indian side to qualify for the knock out stages. Kashyap spoke proudly of the achievement and praised his boys for putting in an immense effort to beat one of the better teams in the competition.
“Depending on my squad, where I had young players some foreigners I changed the style and focused more on a counter-attack based football, and put an effort in defence and our combination clicked on the pitch today,” is what Santosh Kashyap had to say about his side changes in tactics during the game.
Aizawl had a record of awarding a penalty to the opposition team in the previous 5 games, but today lady luck shone for them as they were awarded a penalty and managed to keep their defence neat and tidy and not gift away any penalties to the opposition team.
Coach Santosh Kashyap also spoke about this trait, and said, “I spoke to the boys before the game and made them understand the importance of not awarding penalties to the opponents, they are all young aggressive players and play with a lot of emotion so I am happy they could play according to my instructions and not concede a penalty.”
Man of the Match Andrei Ionescu praised his teammates for the support they have given him throughout the season and said the growth that the young Indian players have had throughout the season has been tremendous.
Oscar Bruzon the New Radiant FC coach admitted that the better team won the game today, and that Aizawl strategy to get more men behind the ball worked wonders for Aizawl and that broke down New Radiants gameplay.
Speaking about the penalty incident Oscar said, “I have to analyse the game footage to comment on that perfectly, but well the move could have been an offside from what I saw, a couple of other decisions also went against us, but its football and things like this happen so I have no complaints.”
He did praise his boys for the way they stuck to their footballing philosophy and style even in crunch situations.
He cut a dejected face during the post-match interaction and did mention that this loss was a big loss for the club as they had plans for the continental competition along with the Maldives national league.
Oscar Bruzon said that the future of his team was to concentrate on winning the national league and gaining a qualification spot for the continental competition.Published 17 May 2018, 01:12 IST