The Lions scored a last gasp equaliser to snatch a point down south.
Chennaiyin FC were held to a 2-2 draw against Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai in Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Sunday. Jeje Lalpekhlua bagged a brace, but goals from David Ngaihte and Guyon Fernandez ensured that it was even-stevens after 90 minutes.
Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was Chennaiyin’s assistant coach Sabir Pasha, who expressed his disappointment at throwing away two points in the last minute. “It’s always sad when you concede in the last minute,” he admitted. “We are a fit team. I am not saying we were tired. We have to focus on these things. Had we been focused, we would not have conceded the goal.”
He also lauded the Dynamos, going on to say that they did expect a tough competition from the Lions. “Each and every match is a pressure match,” Pasha stated. “ISL is such a league that there is no bottom or top team. You can see how Delhi were coming on us. They are a good team. We expected that, and we were ready for that. But unfortunately, we conceded a last-minute goal.”
He also defended Dhanachandra Singh, who was returning to the side after a long time, and refused to blame him for the opening goal. “Dhanachandra (Singh) is playing after a long time in that position,” he said. “So, he did very well. Maybe he could have done better with the cross (Nandhakumar Sekar’s cross that led to David Ngaihte’s goal). But it’s a perfect, measured cross. It’s always difficult to defend such crosses. I think Dhana could have done better, but we could not have expected more from him.”
Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was the Lions’ gaffer Miguel Portugal, who admitted at being pleased with the result. “I am happy with the way the players played the match,” he stated. “And today we scored two goals and I am very happy. But the problem is we conceded two goals as well. But I’m very happy.”
The Spaniard also lauded Lallianzuala Chhangte’s performance during the match and informed why club captain Kalu Uche did not start. “Kalu’s injury had made him weak,” explained the 62-year-old. “I think Chhangte showed good mobility on the field. He is a good player for the future.”
However, before wrapping up, Portugal took the blame for conceding a goal from a free kick. “The problem is mine because I asked for man-to-man marking in the free-kick. So, that’s way it’s my mistake because I said all men-to-men,” he concluded.