The NorthEast United manager was disappointed after his team conceded a late goal to be denied the three points in Kolkata…

NorthEast United FC were denied maximum points in their Indian Super League encounter against Atlético de Kolkata at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Thursday evening. Nicolas Velez opened the scoring in the fifth minute but Iain Hume’s leveller late on robbed the Highlanders of full three points.

Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference head coach Nelo Vingada said the Highlanders will, however, take solace from the fact that they were still alive in the league with 11 points from 10 games. “We should have won today. Our team was better than Kolkata. However, we will still take one point. My players are very disappointed with the goal and I don’t want to comment if the goal was correct or not as I could not see clearly.”

He added: “Sometimes it can be difficult even for the referee and I regret the game finished this way and we should have finished the game before as [Emiliano] Alfaro had two good chances and the referee had a good performance…So the most important thing is that NorthEast are still alive. We can play and beat any team. There is no doubt about that and the best thing we can take from here is that NorthEast are coming back and I am very happy with the performance of the players and I still believe that we have a chance.”

The draw now sees NorthEast’s winless run extend to six games, including four losses sandwiched between their 1-1 draws against Delhi Dynamos and Kolkata. When asked if the lack of victories will have any psychological effect on his side during the closing stages of the league phase Vingada said, “Today even though we drew it is a great step for my players and in the last game we missed many chances and were not lucky and the way we conceded the goal against Mumbai was not normal, and today even though we missed a chance to win I still look at it in a positive way. The way we played and fought against Kolkata was great and Kolkata missed many chances against Delhi and Mumbai and today they got only one chance and they scored.”

The Portuguese also believes that 20 will be the magic number as far as semi-final qualification is concerned this season. “I think 20 is enough to qualify and as of now nobody is out or in, and we have eleven points now and by winning the next game we can climb in the table,” Vingada concluded.

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.