Hyderabad FC had a perfect start to their ISL 2020:21 campaign as they won their opening match against Odisha FC by 1-0. This is the first time when the club had a clean sheet in the Hero Indian Super League and their head coach Manuel Marquez is delighted after the team’s impressive start to the seventh season of the league.
Halicharan Narzary had got the ball in the middle of the box in the 34th minute of the game. He took the shot but Steven Taylor made a diving tackle. However, the defender had his arms spread while making the dive and the referee noticed the same to give the penalty to Hyderabad FC. Taylor was also booked for handling the ball.
Aridane Santana made no mistake from the spot to help his team take a 1-0 lead in the game. No more goals were scored as Hyderabad FC dominated 53% of possession. Furthermore, they had an 72% passing accuracy and came up with a collective effort on the field.
“I’m really very happy. Even in pre-season we conceded two goals in every game except against Bengaluru where we drew 1-1. But this is our first clean sheet and it’s a reason to be satisfied,” Manuel Marquez said.
The head coach added that the team has to play according to their own strengths. Manuel admitted that his team is not physically the strongest in the league and thus they need to keep possession under their belt.
“We have to play with the style of the players. With our players, we need to play long balls and second plays. For me, if we want to get good results, we need to manage the game. Sometimes we aren’t very strong physically and we need to have the ball, keep possession. Sometimes when the other team is attacking, it isn’t easy for our team because we aren’t that strong physically.”
Marquez was also impressed with the performances of their defender Akash Mishra, who made a fine ISL debut. The chief coach believes Mishra could be one of the best left-backs in India but he has to keep improving.
Hyderabad FC will next face Bengaluru FC on 28th November at Fatorda Stadium.