The coaches of both sides addressed the media following their AFC Champions League qualifying game.
After a an exhilarating ninety minutes of AFC Champions League action between Chennai City FC and Al Riffa, the Bahraini club picked up a victory by beating the Indian side by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. A first-half goal from Mahdi Abduljabbar tipped the tie in the away side’s favour and despite some good play in the late stages from the I-League team, they were unable to find an equaliser. Coaches of both sides, Akbar Nawas (Chennai City) and Ali Ashoor (Al Riffa) addressed the media at the end of what was indeed an entertaining AFC Champions League qualifying fixture.
Akbar Nawas (Chennai City FC)
About The Match
“I think that we did really well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t nick it towards the end, especially with an improved performance in the second half. We could’ve done something in this match, but I guess that’s football. We have to learn and move on, take the positives and improve ourselves,” began Akbar Nawas.
Summarising The Fixture
The gaffer described his team’s situation as ‘unlucky’ and further went on to say, “With the chances we had, at least one should’ve gone in, maybe I didn’t pray enough! All the players did a good job today and picking any single one out would be an injustice to the others.”
“I think we did okay, there were some solid performances from some of the players and we played the way we wanted to. I don’t think any team in Indian football has dominated the way that we did today,” stated Akbar Nawas.
About The Next Step
“Now we can see and start believing in ourselves. Yes, we were champions last year but we have a different squad this year and this performance will give the players the belief they need to improve their league performances as well,” concluded Akbar Nawas.
Ali Ashoor (Al Riffa)
About The Match
“First of all, we congratulate ourselves and say hard luck to Chennai. They played very good and it was a critical match for us. Frankly speaking, we are very proud of this result. I am proud of the players because we got the result and qualified in the ninety minutes. We started attacking in the first half but the game got more balanced in the second. We had a lot of chances to counter-attack and if we showed better finishing, it could’ve had three or four,” said Ali Ashoor.
About His Half-Time Team Talk
“The timing of our goal was very important because it was in the 41st minute. I told them to keep the ball in the second half, so as to maintain possession and not give it away. I told them that they will dominate but that we have to be ready both psychologically and mentally. They controlled the game, but we did well with counter-attacks and created many chances. To answer the question, I said ‘keep the ball and once we get it back from them, go for a counter attack’.”
About Their Next Game
“Now we need to celebrate, have a good rest and recovery and from tomorrow we will worry about the Iranian team (Shahr Khodro FC). We had even booked the airline tickets, not because we were sure we are going to beat Chennai, but to prepare the team mentally that we have a target to reach. We will do the analysis of the Iranian team videos, tomorrow maybe, and then we will talk about Iranian team.”