NorthEast United FC head coach Juan Pedro Benali expressed his dissatisfaction with the result as his team shared spoils with Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The Blues kept their unbeaten run against NorthEast United FC at home intact as Sivasakthi Narayanan’s stoppage-time equaliser levelled the score. The visitors took a slender one-goal lead with Spanish forward Nestor Albiach’s precise spot-kick in the 86th minute, but the Highlanders failed to end their five-match winless streak as the match ended with a 1-1 scoreline.

Benali shared his displeasure as his team played out a draw despite taking the initial lead.

“A point is not a good result for us,” Benali stated in the pre-match press conference.

“We don't come here to draw. We never go for a draw. I don't have a problem with a win or a loss. I like it. We deserve more. But we play against a very strong, big team with a lot of international players. We had many young players on the field. They showed that we can,” he added.

The Spaniard explained that Bengaluru FC maintained the same tactics that they followed against Jamshedpur FC in their last game. He wants his players to keep focusing on themselves, as they are still building a team with young players.

“They (Bengaluru FC) didn't change a lot for the last two games,” he commented.

“They played (like) the same. We know each other very well. We know the players very well. But we're trying to focus on ourselves. We're building a team. We're building a team with young players and better players. And what we try to do is try to implement our system (for players) so that we can change systems depending on the game,” he continued.

Benali had lots of praise for his young players like Macarton Louis Nickson, Huidrom Thoi Singh, Parthib Gogoi, Buanthanglun Samte, and others who came in in different situations in the match and showcased their potential. 

“Macarton Louis Nickson, Huidrom Thoi Singh, Parthib Gogoi, Buanthanglun Samte, and many young players are coming in,” he said.

“We need young players to prepare to win tomorrow, next year. Our management’s objective is clear. It's to prepare the team to be strong in the future. Macarton Louis Nickson had a great game playing in his hometown. I'm really proud of all,” he signed off.