Jeje Lalpekhlua: Thanks to the coach for believing in me
Chennaiyin FC set up a mouth-watering showdown with Bengaluru FC in the final of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 by overcoming FC Goa 3-0 in the second leg of the second semi-final at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday. Jeje Lalpekhlua found his name back on the scoresheet thanks to his brilliant brace, while Dhanpal Ganesh’s header added to an overall 4-1 aggregate win. After the final whistle, indiansuperleague.com caught up with both goal-scorers for their views on the victory and the final. Here are the excerpts.
How are you feeling after the win?
Jeje: I think we deserved the win. It was an amazing game. That was an award we won. You keep fighting till the end and that’s why we got that result.
Dhanpal: It feels really good that we have reached the final. I am very happy. I am going to the final for the first time. So, I am overjoyed.
How does it feel to reach the final where you will face Bengaluru?
Jeje: Yes, it’s been amazing. This will be my second time in the final. I hope I can lift the trophy for the Chennaiyin FC supporters. It’s going to be a tough game, but we know how to play. Let’s see.
Dhanpal: They are a great team. I had wanted us to draw Bengaluru FC in the semi-final but now we will meet them in the final. We will put in all our efforts for the final.
Jeje, what do you want to say about your head coach John Gregory’s advice?
Yes, thanks to the coach for believing in me. Six matches and no goals as a striker, it’s been annoying and still they gave me confidence and that’s how I got the result.
Also, talk us through your header which opened the scoring?
Yes, of course, I knew when I got hold of the ball, that there was space in front of the goal. So, I ran inside and scored.
Dhanpal, what do you have to say about your team’s dominant display?
We didn’t play just for a clean sheet. We played to win. We know our quality and we were sure we will score at our home ground. That is why we went all out.
Any words on the amazing fans?
It has been great. I had not seen a crowd this big here before. But now we have to focus on the next match which is the final.