Javier Lopez: We had belief till the final minute

Mumbai City FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday. Mumbai’s Mohamed Larbi opened the scoring from the spot in the first half before Marko Stankovic converted an injury time penalty to earn Hyderabad a point from the match.

Speaking at the post-match interview, Hyderabad’s newly-appointed interim head coach Javier Gurri Lopez gave his opinion on the match and said, “We are really happy (with the draw). I think in the first half Mumbai City were better than us. We defended well but we didn’t control the ball or attack too much. In the half time, we changed a few things, a few positions and I think we created a mentality to try to equalise. We deserve this result. We were believing till the final minute. One point is good for us.”

Adding to this, he said, “When you join a team, which is last in the table, you know that the players are low in self-confidence. It was the objective before this game, to recover this self-confidence of the players. In the first half, we didn’t play like we trained during the week, but in the second half, I think we didn’t feel much pressure and that helped in building the confidence. I think we can still play better.”

Lopez then spoke about Hyderabad’s next challenge against defending champions Bengaluru FC and stated, “We should play the next game like we did today. The difference between the Hero ISL teams are not that high. Bengaluru might be on top, but they are not too much better than us. We travel with a mentality of winning the match.”

On Hyderabad’s roadmap for the immediate future, he said, “Our first objective is to know all the players for the next season, especially the younger players like (Mohammed) Yasir, Abhishek (Halder) and Liston (Colaco). Also, we need to recover the self-confidence of the players.”

Read the Match Report here.

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