Laszlo all praise for Goncalves after his match-winning brace

Chennaiyin FC brought an end to their four-match winless run in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after beating Odisha FC 2-1 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. Esmael Goncalves scored twice for Chennaiyin in the first half on his return to the starting XI, while Odisha pulled one back in the second half courtesy of a stunning effort by substitute Diego Mauricio from range.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Chennaiyin head coach Csaba Laszlo assessed Goncalves’ display against Odisha. “I was very unsatisfied with Isma [talking about Goncalves’ performance initially]. After he got injured, he worked to come back and I told him ‘look, if you want to be a part of this team, you have to work and not just score goals.’ He understood what I was saying and now I am very happy that he delivered for what we brought him in. I also think that he has more potential …I don’t think anyone is against him, he has to understand that the team is the most important and if you win and contribute the winning goal like today, everyone will love you,” the 56-year-old said.

Laszlo also praised his other striker Jakub Sylvestr’s performance after he came off the bench. “I was also impressed with Jakub’s performance. He came in for 15 minutes and he was running and working. It’s also competition [within the team] which is good,” he said.

While assessing the game, Laszlo added: “I don’t think that we had too many gaps in our defence tonight but it’s a fact that we gave away one goal and we must also note that until now the other teams haven’t got many goals from open play. We were lucky in some situations today, but we deserved the win and now we have four days of training before we face SC East Bengal and hope for another successful game.”

Watch Csaba Laszlo's Post-Match Press conference here:

Meanwhile, Odisha head coach Stuart Baxter made it clear that he was far from a happy man. “I am not happy with the manner in which we gave away two goals and not happy with the manner in which we started the game. We started the game by playing everything long and not getting the ball down and playing within our shape… I thought the response in the first half was okay without being good and the response was very good in the second half. I thought we were unlucky not to get something from the game,” he said.

Baxter also explained why he opted not to start his top-scorer this season, Diego Mauricio. “You have got to look at the stats telling you that Diego is tired. You have got to think that he’s my main striker at the moment and you have to make a tough call not to start him. On the other hand, if he started and he goes off with a hamstring after 60 minutes and misses the rest of the season then you feel pretty stupid. So, [we had] long conversations with Diego and the Sports Science department and also threw Marcelo Pereira back into the fray and gave him 45 minutes. I’m sure he’ll feel better about that and Diego came in fresh and arguably because he was fresh, he got himself another goal,” the Englishman said.

Watch Stuart Baxter's Post-Match Press conference here:


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