Asamoah Gyan: We need to stay focused and cannot concede late goals

NorthEast United FC were denied a second home victory after FC Goa’s super-sub Manvir Singh’s last minute header cancelled out a goal by Redeem Tlang at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday. 

NorthEast’s talisman Asamoah Gyan scored the equaliser in the second half after Hugo Boumous opened the scoring for FC Goa. The Ghanaian forward spoke to after the match and shared his views on the team’s performance. Here are excerpts from the interview. 

What was the half-time team talk like? 

Team talk was to keep the ball because every time we kept the ball, we found spaces in front of their goal. So that was what we retained because in the beginning we were playing long balls. So, we had to keep the ball and then everything changed. 

How happy are you with the home crowd after scoring on this ground for two consecutive games? 

It's good to score sometimes. As a striker, I do my job. I'm very happy to do it in front of the fans. So, it's a good thing for me. 

How's the team adapting to Jarni's style and philosophy? 

Our team defends very well. Today also we could have won the game. I think defensively we are doing better. As time goes on, we need to adapt to his style. Sometimes he wants us to play more but there are some new guys who are yet to adapt to the style so as time goes on, we will adapt to it. 

Any positives from the match? 

We need to stay focused. We were leading and a minute from the end we had the big confrontation. We lost our focus and they equalised. This is a big advice to the team because we cannot concede goals like this. 

What do you think about the Indian talent in NorthEast United? 

They are doing well. Sometimes inexperience is a big problem. But as experienced players, we need to keep advising them and keep on pushing them to do well in the future. 

FC Goa forward Manvir Singh, who scored the equaliser in the 94th minute, gave his views on his side’s hard-earned draw.

What do you want to say about today’s match?

Today’s game was very good. We created many chances. If we converted those chances, then we would have been leading by three goals in the first half itself. We played well in the first half but could not score more goals. But this is the game, anything can happen. 

How crucial is this point to your season? 

I scored in the last minute and it was good for the team. I was in the right place at the right time for the goal. Everyone knows that the away point is very crucial for the team. We did not lose and that is very important. We are happy with this point. 

Although Hugo Boumous and Ferran Corominas were combining so well, what was missing in the team? 

We were unlucky because we could not convert many of the chances that we created in the first half. Hugo (Boumous) and Corominas have been creating a lot of chances for the last two seasons. Coro is the (all-time) top-scorer in the league. His decision-making is brilliant. With Hugo, he has a good combination. It’s good for us. 

How is the team shaping up for the season? 

Our next match is against Mumbai (City FC) on 7th November. We will try to give our best in that match as well. The team is doing very well. The young players are motivated, and the coach is very helpful as well. Fans are pushing us to give our 100 per cent as well. 

Read the Match report here.

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