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Conceding an early goal changed everything-Coppell

The Englishman blamed his team's poor start for the defeat against Mumbai...


Kerala Blasters FC succumbed to the heaviest defeat of Hero Indian Super League 2016 after losing out 5-0 to Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday evening. A Diego Forlan hat-trick as well as goals from Cafu and Lucian Goian saw the hosts register an emphatic win over the Blasters, who headed into the contest a point behind new league leaders Mumbai.

Speaking to the media after the game, Kerala head coach Steve Coppell rued his side's start to the game that saw them two goals down inside the opening 15 minutes. “Losing a goal in the first five minutes, and it was something we knew they would try to do and not long after that was what I thought was a cheap free kick and they scored a second and with two-nil down, you have got so many things going through your head from the earlier period. We got to half time and we got some good shooting opportunities, and in my head I was juggling with the idea should we keep it tight and keep at two-nil and hope for something or should we have a go at the game and I decided to have a go at the game to try and get back but eventually we leaked a lot of goals,” Coppell said.

He added: “We were missing a couple of key personnel and we had a few players who were not a 100%, so we have got to learn a lesson from tonight and we have got to put it to bed. It's pointless dwelling on it for too long as we have a massive game next week and we have got to do our best but credit to Mumbai. You know they have got some sensational players and I watched a few of their recent games where they threatened to score a lot of goals and it was very unfortunate for us that we suffered.”

The 61-year-old Englishman was also quick to brush aside suggestions that tiredness had played a role in his team's below-par display. “No, not at all and if anything, it [tiredness] should have been an issue for Mumbai players as that was part of our thinking but the game is easy when you are two or three nil up, you get sprint in your legs. I would say my players kept going and they were still trying to score goals and I compliment them on that but honestly it was a really bad night for us,” he said.

The Blasters currently lie fourth in the table, equal on points with FC Pune City but below them on account of an inferior goal difference. When asked if their goal difference, which was -4 after Saturday's game, could set them back in their bid for the semis, Coppell said: “Well, if it becomes a factor we cannot do anything about it now and in this competition the qualification for the semi-finals, it's points first and foremost and if we get the required points to qualify, then goal difference does not become a factor and we are in a position where we have three games remaining now, so we are still in control of our destiny as regards to the semis and we don't have to depend on anybody else and if we do our stuff we can be a factor but obviously we have got to play better than we did tonight.”

Report and Photo © ISL Media


Published: Sun Nov 20, 2016 01:17 PM IST

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