‘Be brave, take one for the team’; Hughes points to Goian after Chennaiyin defeat

Former Kerala Blasters FC star and Northern Ireland legend Aaron Hughes reckons Lucian Goian being ‘brave’ could have averted ATK’s goal and Chennaiyin FC’s defeat in the two clubs’ Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 clash on Wednesday night.

For context, a 48th minute David Williams goal was the difference between the two sides on the night and speaking at the post-match interview, Chennaiyin FC captain Lucian Goian asserted his frustration with the result and said, “It’s very frustrating for me to sit here and talk about a game which we totally dominated from start to finish and the second-half was much like the Mumbai game - one-way traffic. ATK were in their own penalty box and rarely got out of it. Chances came thick and fast and we created a lot of opportunities to win the game quite comfortably. But we sit here tonight having taken just one point from two home matches when it should be six.”

“We had the ball for 30 minutes in the second-half. And I think ATK were on the floor for about 15 mins. The referee should have played about 10 minutes extra time because they were just wasting time. ATK got what they came for. They got one chance in the game which they took. We have got ourselves to blame for not taking the opportunities well,” he further added.

The Romanian’s comments, however, didn’t quite sit well with Hughes, who was analysing the match from the studio. “If it was the other way around and you’re trying to kill time, Goian will do exactly the same thing. It’s about being professional, knowing how to steal a couple of seconds here and there. It is horrible when you are on the receiving end and the other team is delaying it a little bit. But if it was the other way round, 100% he would be doing the same thing,” opined Hughes, who was himself a celebrated defender during his playing days and also captained Kerala in Hero ISL 2016.

The 39-year-old then followed it up and indicated that Goian’s indecisiveness while defending had a big part to play in ATK’s goal and the eventual outcome. Referring to William’s goal, which the Australian converted after a Javier Hernandez shot deflected off Goian and fell for him for a simple tap in, Hughes stated, “The other thing for me is that he (Goian) is a big centre half, brave. So, stand up, take one in the face for your club. Instead, when the ball was hit, he turns his back, dangles a little heel out and it deflects off him (to give ATK the chance to score). He wasn’t brave. I am not saying that it’s just his fault but he had a big part to play in it (conceding the goal).”

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