Cuadrat and Costa pleased with players’ performances

A 10-man Mumbai City FC put in a valiant performance to earn a hard-fought 1-1 draw against league leaders Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday. Udanta Singh’s 23rd-minute header was cancelled out by a fine goal by Modou Sougou on the 31st minute. Bengaluru got the upper hand early in the second-half courtesy of Sehnaj Singh getting sent off. However, the Islanders held on to earn a valuable point against the mighty Blues.

Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat was present at the post-match press conference to share his thoughts on the entertaining draw. Cuadrat admitted that the Islanders were extremely difficult to break down on the night and said, "We tried our best. Sometimes it happens in football. When the other team has 10 players, for them, it is easier to defend. They have very very fast players. They decide to play on the counter attack exclusively. So, to play against 10 became very difficult. We tried different things. But we are happy because we are unbeaten, and we are still top of the table."

Both sides had plenty of chances to grab the winner as the fans witnessed 90 minutes of truly end-to-end action. The Spaniard was of the same opinion, stating, "I think the other team worked very hard to get the point and we have to congratulate them. They were working very hard in defence and they were dangerous on the counter attack. I think it was a nice and exciting game to watch with a lot of things happening."

From Mumbai’s end, head coach Jorge Costa was present to answer the media’s questions. The Portuguese coach was extremely proud of the performance his troops put in, barring a slow first 20 minutes. "We did not play well in the first 20 minutes. We did not have the ball. But we started playing well after they scored. We had two more chances after scoring. At half-time, I told the players that we should go back home with three points. Unfortunately, we had to play with 10. Of course, playing with 10 is different than playing with 11. But we had some opportunities. I am very happy with the work put in by the players. To be honest, it is a very important point but we deserved more," he opined.

After starting the season on a sluggish note, Mumbai are in the midst of an extraordinary resurgence and have been unbeaten in seven matches. Costa attributed the surge to consistent hard work and said, "There are things which we must remember. As you know, we were the last to start training. New coach, new players and we needed time to work. For sure, at this moment, Mumbai are a much better team than at the start of the season. Sometimes we don’t do so well, but we fight. We must keep working every day."

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