ISL 2018-19: NorthEast United FC secure first three points at home
NorthEast United FC finally got their much awaited first home win of the season against Kerala Blasters in Guwahati today. The game played out like a Bollywood movie for NorthEast United FC with the Highlanders scoring twice in injury time to secure one of the most exciting victories of the season so far. The full-time scoreboard read 2-1 in favour of the hosts, something which still isn't believable for many people.
David James, the Kerala coach, did admit that this problem of conceding late goals has to be sorted out before they get into the second phase of the league stages. He also defended his players and said that "They were not complacent, this is an excellent NorthEast United team. It was just a matter of making some wrong choices on the field that cost us the game."
"The players are devastated, a loss like this completely drains out the players." Is what David James had to say regarding the effect of such a loss on the team.
David James did say that even though Kerala started with a back three, they did play certain players out of their usual position and that was the reason why NorthEast United had those early chances.
Eelco Schattorie was happy with the three points and the way they earned it but did mention that had his team converted those chances they had in the first half the scoreline would have been very different.
The Dutch gaffer did admit that seeing a substitute like Mascia come on and score the winner is something very pleasing given the Uruguayan didn't have much game time.
When asked as to how did he manage to keep the South American striker in good spirits the Dutch gaffer said the following "See I always try to be very honest with my players. Barth is my highest goalscorer, and we haven't really practised with playing two strikers up front, so I explained the situation to him, and I also spoke to him regarding what he needs to improve on."
When quizzed about the sudden change in the home jersey colour the gaffer mentioned he wasn't aware of the reason. The team manager Rahul Sengupta clarified the issue stating that since during this time of the year Guwahati and its nearby places see an increase in insects which are attracted to white they decided to go with the red colour jersey, to help the players overcome the insect problem.
Eelco also spoke about how the Kerala team sheet had him a bit worried given the way they lined up. The Dutchman also mentioned that he had a word with his skipper Ogbeche regarding the way they would go about the game after seeing the Kerala team list and he is happy that they managed to bag all three points.
Speaking about Ogbeche, the gaffer mentioned that since Ogbeche didn't train for four days due to an injury, the Nigerian striker is yet to get back to his usual form.
Speaking to Sportskeeda after the game, Juan Cruz Mascia, the man who scored that wonder goal said that "I knew we could win the game when I came on the pitch and when we scored the penalty I said to my teammates we will win this game and we won."
"I think of nothing, I just see the goal and shot the ball and then when I see the ball went in I didn't know which way to run." is what Mascia had to say about the winning goal he scored.
The Uruguayan forward also did mention that the next few weeks were crucial for their campaign and the next four games will be very difficult given they have very few days break between those game.