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ISL: Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory unhappy with missed chances vs FC Goa

Chennaiyin FC rallied to hold FC Goa to a 1-1 draw in the second semi-final of the Indian Super League, It was n away 1st leg for Chennaiyin FC

football Updated: Mar 11, 2018 12:37 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Margao
ISL 2017-18,Chennaiyin FC,Indian Super League
Manuel Lanzarote Bruno of FC Goa during the second semi final of Indian Super League against Chennaiyin FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao.(ISL / SPORTZPICS)

Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory was ‘disappointed’ despite them scoring a crucial away goal in 1-1 draw with FC Goa in the semifinal first leg of the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday. (Chennaiyin FC vs FC Goa highlights)

“No, not at all. The opportunities we had to score, we could have won 3-1. We had clear opportunities, one-on-one with the goalkeeper and (Laxmikant) Kattimani, I feel, did a good job. It has certainly kept the tie alive. We are disappointed. We had chances but we didn’t take them,” said Gregory after the match when quizzed about the result.

READ | ISL 2018: Tactical Chennaiyin FC rally to hold FC Goa in first leg semi-finals

But he was happy with the way his defensive unit performed and was all praise for his centre-back pairing of Brazilian Malison Alves, Portugal’s Henrique Sereno, who did a good job in not allowing Goa pair of Manuel Lazaronte and Ferran Corominas link up like they have done all season long.

“We showed great respect to Lanzo and Coro. The goals they have scored this season, many of them have been incredible goals. The play off each other and are constant danger. Having said that, Malison and Sereno did a good job against them. Defensively we were very aware of them and you do put lot of attention to them than possibly other strikers in the ISL because they are special. We have our work cut on Tuesday night (in the second leg),” explained Gregory.

FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera admitted that his side didn’t play as a cohesive unit. “We had possession but it was very far away from the opponent’s goal. We didn’t have enough numbers when we were close to the goal. So, what this result shows is that the team was a little bit divided and physically it cost us a little bit as well,” said Lobera.

The Spaniard, though, is banking on his team’s goalscoring prowess to see them through when they visit Chennai on Tuesday for the second leg.

“We are a team that normally score a lot of goals and why can’t we do it there? My confidence is high. I think we have a lot of possibilities to be in the final and we have to do things very well in the next game,” said Lobera, whose team has scored 43 goals in competition this season.

He added: “I think the result is yet to be decided. From what we have here, for us to go through, we need to score there. It was a little difficult to get a result against a team which is as well organised and defensively strong as they were today (Saturday). But having said that, for us, it’s not such an obstacle to go there and try and score a goal.

“We were capable of doing that there but right now the circumstances need to serve us as a form of a motivation.”

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 12:37 IST