Both managers had differences on who was the better team over the 90 minutes.

NorthEast United lost 0-1 to league leaders Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League match played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Friday. Venezuelan Miku scored the only goal of the game early in the second half. Following the match both managers met the press in the post-match press conference.

A disappointed NEUFC boss Joao De Deus clearly pointed out why his team was the second best on the night. “Two things went wrong for us, first one was that mistake [by Rehenesh],which should not have happened. Second one, we failed [to score] where it is impossible to fail. Its not true that our opponents were better than us. We were an organized team and had the capacity. We had everything. We missed some opportunities where we must have scored. That was the key to this game”, he said.

On being asked about Danilo Lopes’ performance the boss defended his striker who missed some brilliant scoring opportunities. “See, he (Cristiano Ronaldo), the best in the world, received the Ballon d’Or, but is having a bad time in his league. Is he not good? He is the best. Similarly, my striker is very good. He worked hard but missed 3-4 scoring chances. Thats football.”

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Bengaluru coach Albert Roca praised backup keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte who was brilliant between the sticks. “Well, he played very well today. He was quite good, saved some crucial shots and he was at the same level like the rest of the team.”

Roca praised NEUFC’s physical and high pressing game towards the end of both halves, but hailed his team’s winning performance. “I dont think NEUFC were better than us today. In the first 30 minutes of the game, we were superior. We controlled the game as we wanted, but couldn’t punish them. They are a good physical team and tried to turn things around in the last 10 minutes of the first half.”

“Very early in the second half, they did a mistake and we punished them. Then we tried to score the second but they responded well. They put in more men in the attack, tried long balls, crosses from behind and pressed on us. But, I dont think they were the better side. We deserved the result. Although, it was a well fought game”, he added.

The Spanish tactician was also happy to have utility players in Rahul Bheke and Harmanjot Khabra. “Yes, you have to utilise players like them. They have played in different positions in the past. In the dying moments of the game, NEUFC played a high pressing game and both Bheke and Khabra responded equally. At the end it was a satisfying result for us.”