Anirudh Thapa and Dimitri Petrotos react to Mohun Bagan SG’s win over Hyderabad FC
Midfielder Thapa and forward Petratos shared their views after the team beat Hyderabad FC in Kolkata which saw them get back to winning ways.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant secured a 2-0 victory against Hyderabad FC to end their four-match winless streak in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023–24. Anirudh Thapa and Aussie forward Jason Cummings found their names on the scoresheet as the Mariners got their seventh victory of the season.
The hosts took the lead in the 12th minute courtesy of Thapa’s goal. The 26-year-old Indian international showed his positioning sense inside the box to break the deadlock in the opening quarter of the game. Cummings doubled their lead in the additional minutes of the first half, handing his side a sustainable lead before the lemon break. With two first-half goals, the Mariners switched to the fourth spot with 23 points in 12 games.
After the match, goal scorer Thapa and versatile forward Dimitrios Petratos shared their insights on the match.
Very happy to score my first goal for Mohun Bagan SG: Thapa
Since joining Mohun Bagan SG in the summer transfer window, Thapa has played a pivotal role in the midfield and has become an integral part of their midfield. The midfielder is delighted after scoring his first goal for the club but wants to stay focused to carry forward the winning momentum in the upcoming matches.
Anirudh Thapa with his first goal in 💚♥️— Mohun Bagan Super Giant (@mohunbagansg) February 10, 2024
Watch ISL 2023-24 LIVE on Sports 18, VH1 & JioCinema!#MBSG #JoyMohunBagan #আমরাসবুজমেরুন #ISL10 #LetsFootball #ISLonJioCinema #ISLonSports18 pic.twitter.com/5cbqDIg9Tn
Thapa emphasized the importance of getting a win despite missing some players for injury problems and card suspensions. He wants his team to continue the momentum against FC Goa, against whom they are scheduled to play on February 14 in an away fixture.
“It’s good to get a win after a couple of days despite having injuries and suspensions. It’s a positive note that we should carry forward in the upcoming matches. The next matches are going to be tougher. We have to play our next game against FC Goa within a very short time. We need to recover well and prepare for the next game,” Thapa told indiansuperleague.com.
Thapa assumes that the upcoming matches are going to be tougher as it’s a very tight race for the ISL League Shield. He firmly believes that every game is a do-or-die for his side if they are targeting finishing the league as the table toppers.
“Every match is a do-or-die match if we want to be the (League) champions,” he said.
“There is a very close gap in the league table amongst the top three teams. If we want to chase the League Shield, then every match is a do-or-die situation for us. With the form FC Goa and Odisha FC are carrying, we have to give our best, and we must target to secure as many points as possible as it will be beneficial for us,” he added.
Thapa expressed that it was a pleasure to score his first goal for the Mariners on their home turf in front of their numerous supporters. However, the midfielder has his eyes fixed on having more goal contributions for the club in the upcoming matches.
“I’m very happy to score my first goal for this big club in front of thousands of home supporters. It’s a very proud moment for me. I wish to score more goals and provide assists for the club in the upcoming matches, and our team continues to win,” he asserted.
Joni Kauko made his return for the club against Hyderabad FC. He was previously in action during the 2021-22 before a knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the season. Speaking on the return of an experienced Finnish midfielder on the pitch, Thapa said, “Obviously, he is a great player, and we have seen that in recent years.”
“With his coming back, we’ll have more stability and quality in the team because of his experience. From the supporters to the players, everyone is very happy about his coming back. Hopefully, he stays injury-free and gives his best this season,” he concluded.
The goals will come: Dimitri Petratos
One of Mohun Bagan SG’s key players in the upfront, Dimitri Petratos, shared that despite playing against a Hyderabad FC team that hasn’t won a single game this season, the match was very close in every aspect. He seemed happy with the result, especially with the clean sheet, but wants to take out only the positive things ahead of their next match against FC Goa.
“It wasn't an easy match. Though they are in the bottom place, those games are never easy. Within the team, we stayed focused from the first whistle to the last,” Petratos stated.
“We created a lot of chances. It was 2-0. A positive result with a clean sheet, but it could have been more. We take the positives out of the game, good combinations (among the players), and this game is finished. Now we focus on the next game (against FC Goa),” he added.
The Australian forward prioritised the importance of creating numerous chances throughout the game but is very hopeful that these chances will be converted into goals in the upcoming matches.
“The important thing is that we created chances. This is a positive sign, not a negative. The goals will come,” he commented.
Petratos also feels very happy with the return of Kauko, who was sidelined for a long period after an injury he suffered during the 2021-22 season. Kauko has been out of action since that injury and recently joined the club during the January transfer window, marking his second stint with the Mariners.
Speaking in context, he said, “Everybody is very happy that he's come back from a big injury. It's been over a year. It was good to see him out there today. He enjoyed it, and he will build on it.”
The Mariners will face FC Goa in their next match within four days. He also sees it as a good challenge to compete with a strong team.
“It’s good to play against opponents who are doing well. It's a good challenge. We have to recover now and focus on the next game,” he signed off.