ISL 2019/20: 'We had put in our hundred percent in the game', says Kerala Blasters midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad
Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC shared points at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday evening as both teams failed to find the back of the net. With the stalemate, both teams had four points after four games.
Blasters midfielder, Sahal Abdul Samad shared his views on the game after the contest. He said,
We had put in our hundred percent in the game but there was an issue with injuries. But still, we didn’t let go of the game. The coach and the players are proud.
Eelco Schattorie trusted the local attacking trio of Rahul-Sahal-Prasanth for a second consecutive game and the group impressed. Commenting on the same, Sahal stated,
It was a proud moment (for three Kerala players to play together in the midfield). Rahul and Prasanth performed well.
The Dutch manager, who was already affected by numerous injury concerns added two more to the list as Jairo Rodrigues and Raphael Messi Bouli had to be replaced in the first half. The centre-back was forced out with a hamstring injury in the first minute and Raphael Bouli was taken to hospital after a collision with Aridane Santana. Sahal felt that with most of the foreign players injured, the international break is coming at the right time.
In yet another refereeing error in this ISL, the hosts were denied a penalty in the first half after Sahal was brought down inside the box. The India international believed that it was a wrong call from the official.
I think it was a penalty. I watched the replay after the game and I feel it was a clear penalty. The referee has to decide it on the spot and refereeing is one of the toughest jobs in the world. We can’t do anything on it. There was a handball from Prasanth’s cross. But the referee has to make a decision in a second. Sometimes it will be against us and sometimes it will be in our favor.
Kerala Blasters' latest local sensation Rahul KP too shared his comments on the game. He quipped,
Three points were a must for us. I’m not happy, but positive as we didn’t lose. We got one point and all the players played well. Rafi came in as the striker and won headers. I, Prasanth and Sahal had a good combination. We managed to keep possession. The team is building up well.
When asked about the refereeing decisions on the night, the 19-year-old came out in support of the official and stated that there was too much pressure on the referee.
I can’t say the refereeing is bad. He has so much pressure. At times, its difficult for him to decide. But, I feel it was a penalty.
The Blasters now head into the international break and will return to action against Bengaluru FC on the 23rd of November. The U-17 World Cup hero was hopeful that his injured teammates would regain fitness before the much-awaited fixture against the defending champions.