Ishfaq: Disappointing to throw away matches we dominated like this
Despite taking the lead twice, Kerala Blasters FC had to eventually settle for a 2-2 draw against FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday. The draw means Eelco Schattorie's men are winless in five consecutive matches now, with their last victory coming in the opening day of the season against ATK. It will be a heartbreaking result for Kerala who were leading the game 2-1 against a 10-man Goa side till the end of the regulation 90 minutes, but conceded in added time to drop two points.
In head coach Schattorie’s stead, assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed addressed the media at the post-match press conference. Addressing the late goal, he said, “There can be many reasons behind conceding late. Players get tired and tend to make mistakes. There are lapses in concentration. But today, we can’t blame anyone. We should have slowed the game down. That’s football for you. We are very disappointed. We were in control. First-half, they barely got any chances and in the second-half, TP (Rehenesh) barely had to make any saves.”
“Goa is one team which dominates other teams but today we were the one dominating the game, even in the first-half when they were with 11 men. We were the better team today. You are always disappointed when you throw away a game you have dominated the way that we did today. We, especially the head coach, is very disappointed with the way we have been conceding goals. We need to show more maturity in these situations,” he later added.
Ishfaq further stated that Kerala should have put the game to bed with the opportunities they had in the match. “Lack of concentration has been costing us points. Against Bengaluru FC, one mistake cost us three points. Today again, it was two points dropped. With the opportunities we got, we should have put the game to bed and ensured Goa couldn’t come back.”
The Gaurs, despite being down to 10 men, put up a resilient front in the closing stages and pressed Kerala high. “When you are a man down and losing, you have nothing to lose. In the last 10 minutes, they tried to press. We were still comfortable and had chances. We have been unlucky and it was the same today.”
Read the Match Report here.