Vicuna disappointed with late goal and just one point

A last-minute equaliser by Scott Neville ensured that SC East Bengal earned a hard-earned point following a 1-1 draw against Kerala Blasters FC during their 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) clash at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Friday. Jordan Murray opened the scoring for Kerala before Neville equalised for SC East Bengal with virtually the last piece of action in the game.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Kerala’s head coach Kibu Vicuna shared his disappointment after the draw. “Tonight was very difficult because we had three points and we lost two in the last chance of a match where they had more of the ball than us but didn’t create any clear chance. We had the best chances and we scored one. We had three points and at the end we lost two. It’s a hard moment because it was an important match for us to get points again in two games in a row and climb the table,” he said.

The Spaniard though praised his side’s defensive showing despite the late leveller. “There were patches of the game where we were performing well. Today, against a very difficult team with very good players our defensive performance was good. Not only defensive but the whole team. We didn’t concede too many chances… we performed well even in a situation where we had to make a few changes in the defensive line due to injuries,” Vicuna said.

The 49-year-old also had words of encouragement for Murray, who is Kerala’s leading goal-scorer with six goals. “We are very happy with Jordan [Murray] and also Gary [Hooper]. Jordan is a boy who is giving his 100 per cent every day. He’s showing that he’s a good goal-scorer and for strikers, the moment they are in form is important and Jordan is in form right now,” Vicuna said.

Watch Kibu Vicuna's Post-Match Press conference here:

Meanwhile, SC East Bengal’s head coach Robbie Fowler seemed glad to have got a point from the match. “It’s not ideal, not something we plan. We go into the games, obviously, believing that we can get the right result. Sometimes you put the onus on the opposition. They made it incredibly difficult for us by putting lots of men behind the ball and playing a shape that makes it easy for them to defend. So, it was tough. We got there in the end and that’s the main and most important thing,” he said.

When it was put to him that SC East Bengal were the favourites going into the game, Fowler was keen to point out that Kerala themselves have been on a good run of late. “Favourites or not, you want to win every game. Kerala had been on a very good run themselves, so regardless if we were favourites or not, we go into the game knowing what we need to do from the tactical [point of view]. Sometimes the opposition plays well and puts you under a lot of pressure,” the Englishman said.

“We were under the pump at times in terms of how they defended and got lots of bodies behind the ball, but we came back from a goal down… again there are lots of positives and lots to work on but let’s be steady. We have shown what we are about; a team that never gives up and we have proven that on more than one occasion,” he added.

Watch Robbie Fowler's Post-Match Press conference here:


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