"We are not like Mohun Bagan or Manchester United," says Chennai City FC coach Akbar Nawas after Saturday's draw with Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan was held 1-1 against league leaders Chennai City FC under a floodlit Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday evening. Haitian winger Sony Norde was yet again the saviour for the 'Mariners’ scoring the opening goal by an inch-perfect curler in the 50th minute of the match, but Nestor Gordillo's 81st-minute strike helped them snatch a vital away point.
Chennai City FC did not enjoy a good spell of play in the opening half. Their star striker Pedro Manzi was taken off in the second half. It was in the final 20 minutes of the match that the league leaders found their missing flair. After trailing for nearly half an hour, the visitors restored parity just around 10 minutes from the stoppage time.
Chennai City FC's coach Akbar Nawas was pretty content with the stalemate in Kolkata. When asked about the views regarding the game, he said: “This is football, you have to create chances if it goes you win. Otherwise, you get a draw. For me, if you see us closely, we always go for a win. If we draw or lose, we need to ask ourselves why did we draw or lose. We should reflect on what happened."
He added: “The way we want to play, it needs to be consistent. For consistency to happen, it needs time. That's why during the press conference yesterday when someone said that we are at the top of the table with 6 wins, we are running away with the title. I do not think that way. In football, there is no magic pill, no secret or shortcut to success.”
Mohun Bagan could have easily sealed the match within the hour mark of the match but poor finishing from the hosts let them down once again. Following Sony Norde's inspirational goal, Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty adopted a defensive approach which cost them dearly.
Akbar Nawas feels that the team needs to work on the mistakes rather than think about losing points. “We are not like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Manchester City or Manchester United with a lot of tradition and need to win every game. Our club is just four years old,” said the tactician.
Bagan's Egyptian playmaker Omar Elhusseiny was substituted by a certain Shilton DSilva who was not playing in his regular position. Although Sony Norde tried the best he could to fetch three points for his team, Chennai City FC's Nestor Gordillo denied them by scoring the equaliser in the 81st minute.
Bagan’s coach Sankarlal Chakraborty felts that the missed opportunities were the main cause for the loss. He said: “We could have scored 3-4 goals before that phase. I told you that Chennai City FC is a versatile team and plays balanced football. We scored a goal in the 50th minute, we are bound to get pressure from the other end. The goal was a result of a minor mistake.”
Although, he lauded the efforts of his boys by saying: “But the way the players fought until the last minute was commendable. We could have won the game in the first half itself.”
With 9 points from 6 matches, Mohun Bagan remains at the fourth position in the league table while Chennai City FC held on the pole position and now have 17 points from 7 matches. Both the teams will play their next fixture on December 16. While Mohun Bagan face off against arch-rivals East Bengal, Akbar Nawas’ boys will play away to defending champions Minerva Punjab FC.