Yesterday’s defeat marked the home side’s third loss in a row.
NorthEast United pulled off a stunning comeback to emerge 4-3 winners against defending ISL champions Chennaiyin FC, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday. A hat-trick from Bartholomew Ogbeche and a second-half strike from Rowllin Borges sealed the victory for the Highlanders after Thoi Singh’s brace had put the hosts in a position of strength.
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Watch: Chennaiyin 3-4 NEUFC
At the post-match press conference, NorthEast United head coach Eelco Schattorie was present to take questions from the media. The Dutchman expressed his disappointment with the goals conceded by his side but was happy with their attacking prowess and in particular the performance of Ogbeche. “The first goal we conceded was (from) a set piece situation, the second was an organisational mistake. From the four goals we scored, two of them were from a weakness that I analysed before the game. The other two goals were also great goals. Bartholomew (Ogbeche) scored three goals and that’s what a striker is signed for. I’m extremely happy with him as a captain.”
Schattorie elaborated on his team’s preparation and tactics before the game, which led to them exploiting Chennaiyin’s weaknesses. “There were three points in the game preparation which I prepared with the players. One of them resulted in two goals, which is fantastic. We are in first place and I want to enjoy that now.”
The 46-year-old also shed light on the reason behind his team’s poor start to the match, which saw them go two goals down within the first 15 minutes. “We worked a lot on not conceding goals from set-pieces. The first goal was a set-piece. The goalkeeper didn’t have good preparation. But we did not hold the ball in the beginning. Both my wingers were losing the ball a lot. So overall, I was a bit surprised, but we need to be a bit more prepared.”
From Chennaiyin’s end, head coach John Gregory was present to address the media’s questions. The Englishman was visibly disappointed with the final result, especially after making a positive start to the contest. “We started very well, and we played good football with a lot of energy. At 2-0 we were good value at that particular time. Our defensive displays in the last 12 months have always been our strong point. But today, we gifted four goals. It is not the sort of thing that I would expect from my team. Obviously the last 30 minutes, we were camped in their half of the pitch, but we couldn’t find the equaliser.”