The only thing we can take away from this game is our fighting spirit-Molina
The ATK boss feels the race for te top four will go go right down to the wire…
Atletico de Kolkata and NorthEast United FC shared the honours tonight at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata as the visitors conceded a late goal after leading the fixture for the majority of the 90 minutes. Nelo Vingada’s men took an early lead in the 5th minute after an alert Nicolas Velez took advantage of an Atletico de Kolkata defensive lapse to give his side a much-needed breakthrough. The strike was – however – cancelled out by ATK’s Canadian forward, Iain Hume right in the dying minutes of the encounter when it looked as if the Guwahati-based side would return to their den with all the three points in their pocket. With 14 points from 10 matches, Jose Molina's men remain fourth in the standings and the Spaniard had no real complaints at the post-match press conference.
“The point difference between all the teams is too close… If I was thinking that we could be top of the table with 25 points right now, then that is rubbish. We are in the position that we deserve. I think we are in a good position. We will continue to keep fighting. We will fight to remain in the top four,” Molina told reporters after the 1-1 draw.
ATK have four more games to go in the league stage and when asked how many points he thought they would need to qualify for the semis, Molina said: “I don't know. In my mind right now, the only think I want to grab is the three points in Chennai [on Sunday], nothing more. Then we will think about Goa and then Kerala. Right now I don't know how many points we need. But I am sure we need the three points against Chennaiyin FC. I will talk to the players and tell them the only thing now they should have their focus on is to go to Chennai and do their job to get the three points.”
When asked about his thoughts on the potential magic figure to qualify for the playoffs, the Spaniard answered, “Honestly, I don’t know. All I can say is that I want my side to grab all three points every time we set our foot on the field.”
Reflecting on the important moments of the match the ATK head coach said, “The defensive lapse that we committed in the opening moments of the match was a great mistake on our behalf. I am absolutely not happy with the overall performance of my side. It wasn’t the best of matches that we had played. The only positive that we take away from the match was our fighting spirit right until the end.”
Molina was also effusive in praise of Hume, who became the first player in ISL history to score against all opposition teams with his goal against the Highlanders. “About Iain, I like him as a striker. I know his movements are good, he can score goals. I know he can play in different positions too… I am absolutely happy with him. He can help us in any position we need him,” he said.
Photo © ISL Media
Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.
Published: Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:58 PM IST