Juan Mascia: Will give everything to reach the final

NorthEast United FC rode a late penalty by Juan Mascia to beat Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the first leg of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 semi-final 1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. The Highlanders will go into the second leg in Bengaluru with a one-goal cushion, but the Blues will also carry forth the advantage having scored an away goal.

After the match, indiansuperleague.com caught up with NorthEast's two goal scorers - Juan Mascia and Redeem Tlang - for a post-match interview. Here are the excerpts.

Juan Mascia

How confident are you going into the semi-finals now?

I know we made a big step towards the final but it is not over yet. We have to play in Bengaluru. Now, we go ahead with a one-goal lead but I know, it is not finished yet. We have to fight in the next match also.

What instructions were given to you when you came in?

Well, I know how to play as a striker. I went for the ball and I scored a goal.

Did you feel the pressure when you were taking the penalty?

I knew it was the final set of the match. So, I took the ball with confidence and I took the shot. That's it!

NorthEast United FC looked confident throughout the match. What was the reason behind it?

We know that we had a good season. We had to continue to do the same things we do in practice during the match. That is why we came into the semi-finals.

Thoughts on the second leg.

As I said, we won now but we still have to play one match. We will do the same as we did today. Fight and play our game to win.

Word on the fans.

Thank you for coming today. We will give everything we have to get into the final.

Which player performed the best today according to you?

The whole team!

Redeem Tlang

Thoughts on the match.

It was a great match. We played the semi-finals for the first time. We won tonight and it is a great achievement for us. Now, we are looking forward to the second leg.

What was going through your mind when Juan Mascia was taking the penalty?

I was praying that it would go in and finally, it went in!

From the Bengaluru camp, defender Nishu Kumar shared his thoughts on the loss and the impending second leg in Bengaluru.

Thoughts on the match.

It was their home match and they played really well in the first half. The second half was totally different and we played good, but unfortunately, they got the penalty in the last minute. So, it was a good match but we have the second leg and we are ready.

Do you think you played a hungrier and more motivated NorthEast United FC?

It's their first time in the semi-finals and they played really well. They did a good job today.

How much of an advantage does an away goal give you?

Yeah, it is an advantage as we scored an away goal. Now, the second leg is in our home, so we will try our best.

How will you approach the second leg of the semi-finals?

In front of our home fans, we will go all out. It will be a good match and we are ready for it.

Are you confident of turning the tie in your favour?

Yeah, we are confident. Unfortunately, we lost today but in the second half, we played really well. So, I hope we play the same way in the second leg.

Read the Match Report here.

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