ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC played out a goalless draw in the first leg of the Indian Super League semifinals. It was a game where both the teams tried their best but the goalkeepers had a great day and hence the match ended 0-0 at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad.
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando was very disappointed as he stated that he came to Hyderabad to win this match. He wanted to set the tone of the tie with an away win, so he wanted more from his players. But later he lauded them for keeping the match to a stalemate against the second best team in the league phase.
“We are disappointed about the result, we came here to win the match against a tough opposition. Hyderabad FC are a good squad with good players, and this is the reason they finished second in the points table and at this moment, they are the reigning champions of the Hero ISL. We have to prepare for the second leg, we do not have a lot of time, and we accept that Hyderabad FC are a team, against whom it is difficult to create chances and find spaces,” Ferrando stated at the post match press conference.
The two teams will meet in the second leg again on Monday and Ferrando is keen to exercise his his plans and come up with something that can hand them the edge over their strong opponents.
“I never change the plans, and my team always tries to be progressive in the build up and try to find spaces. Our mentality is the same, obviously, but the opponent is more progressive tactically and on offence, so we need to work on our defence. Our style and mentality have not changed over the season, and it will not in the next game,” the Spaniard added.
While the Kolkata outfit has been resolute in defence conceding only 17 goals in 20 league matches, they have struggled to find the target consistently. They have scored 24 goals in the league phase, which is lowest among the top six in the ISL points table.
“It is about confidence, we create a lot of chances in a lot of matches, but it depends on the psychology of the players, which is another important part of football. In our case, it was tough for us this season, and we have to accept it,” Ferrando acknowledges.
Lastly the Spanish tactician added that his team will be going all guns blazing in the upcoming second leg. He wants his players to consider it as a final game and nothing less. “The next match is a final, and it will be necessary to play offensively. We will try to win the next match and play in the final (in Goa), so the mentality of both teams will be to win the match,” he concluded.