I-League 2018/19: "We are more than pleased", says Chennai City FC coach Akbar Nawas after the win over East Bengal
East Bengal suffered a 1-2 loss at home to league leaders Chennai City FC in their I-League fixture on Tuesday evening. Sandro and Nestor scored on either half to seal the deal for the visitors, much to the dismay of the 25,000 passionate supporters who gathered at the Salt Lake Stadium to cheer for the Red and Gold brigade.
Enrique Esqueda scored the only goal for East Bengal when they equalised in the 52nd minute but they couldn’t hold on till the end. Chennai City FC’s coach Akbar Nawas was happy to take away the three points from the match but felt the margin of win could have increased.
During the post-match press conference, the coach said, “Yes. I believe we could have actually got more goals, apart from the 2-1 score. But definitely we take away the three points, we are more than pleased. Yes. We could have scored more, but that’s football. Every chance you create doesn’t mean it will go in. It is important to create chances, then only you have a chance to nick one or two.”
East Bengal’s manager Alejandro Menendez was outwitted by the Malaysian tactician’s plans. When asked about whether his boys’ Spanish football style tricked the opponent's Spanish coach, he said, “No. I don’t think so. It is a matter of whether the coach played to a certain strategy and played to that. It was an even game. We believe in the style of football we want and we scored the goals. Even though when the score was 1-1, and also towards the end of the match, we still wanted to score, we wanted to play the way want."
He added, "If we draw or lose, we need to reflect why we draw or lose. We want to play our style of football. At the same time, we want to play football which everyone would like to come and watch. With due respect to East Bengal's coach, he played with a strategy, probably it was not his day."
The Spanish players of Chennai City FC played brilliantly when asked how he handpicked the lot, he said, “We’ll everyone knows when I started towards the end of the last year. I started scouting the players from May onwards. I had my assistant Jorde Villa who has joined New York City. He has some Spanish connections; he was from Barcelona. So, we went to Spain for about three weeks to scout the players.”
Chennai City FC dominated the majority of the game. They offered eye-pleasing football, their passes were accurate and got the goals at the right moments. They deserved the win. Akbar Nawas’ team is now at the top of the league table with 10 points from 4 matches. On the other hand, East Bengal remains in the second spot with 7 points in their bag.