Defiant Brown still hopeful of qualification, Coppell left disappointed
FC Pune City and ATK played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Sunday. The topsy turvy match saw the Stallions take the lead through a John Johnson own goal, but strikes from Jayesh Rane and Edu Garcia handed ATK the advantage. Robin Singh scored late in the match to help Pune rescue a point.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Pune head coach Phil Brown reflected on the match and said, "I don’t think we played well enough in the final third. I thought we were too loose in the final third. We’ve got good players like Iain Hume, Marcelo Pereira, and I expect that little bit of quality that would hurt the opposition. I think it was a fair result. Both sides needed to win."
Asked if the dropped points meant an end of Pune's play-off dreams, the defiant Englishman declared, "We can still win four games. We haven’t given up anything yet. We need to go on our journey and face NorthEast United FC and Jamshedpur FC. These will be two tough games. We are buoyed by the fact that we’ve now come back from staring at the face of defeat. There is a lot to admire in that,” he said.
Brown's opposite number, ATK boss Steve Coppell, opined that, though disappointing, the result was perhaps a fair reflection of the match. "When we got 2-1 up, yes, I thought we deserved to win. But to be fair to Pune, they’ve won their last three games. They threw men forward and they made life difficult. We gave away a few silly free kicks in and around the box (and we paid the price). Our overall performance was good. But in the position we are in, we are disappointed," he said.
ATK midfielder Pronay Halder sustained an injury during the match and had to come off during the second-half. Providing an update on Halder's status, Coppell said, "As soon as he went down, I thought he was in trouble because it (the tackle) was right on the ankle and it was such a quick tackle. He’s important to us. We’ve to wait and see tomorrow morning. We’ve only got four days before our next game. So, we are hoping he can recover quickly."
Read the match report here.