Laszlo: Chennaiyin played enjoyable football but were unlucky this season

Chennaiyin FC finished their season with a 1-1 draw against Kerala Blasters FC in Match 102 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Sunday.

Both goals came in the first half. Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev opened the scoring for the Marina Machans before Gary Hooper equalised from the spot for the Blasters.

At the post-match press conference, Chennayin FC head coach Csaba Laszlo said summed up his team’s outing against the Blasters. “It was a fair result because in the last 20 minutes, we played with 10 men and the team defended very well. So generally, it was a fair result. I think this was the first draw [this season] that we deserved,” he said.

The Marina Machans finished the league stage with 20 points having won thrice, lost six and drawn 11 encounters. They created many chances in most of those matches but poor finishing up front let them down. Speaking on his future with the club, Laszlo said, “I will respect the club’s decision but I definitely want to stay in India. It was a pleasure. I have coached many big clubs and now I want to give as much as I can to Indian football. If possible, I will be here next season too.”

Laszlo regretted that the two-time champions couldn’t make the semis and reached out to the team’s fans. “I know the fans are disappointed because we were not able to make the top four and that was our target. I think we played enjoyable football but we were unlucky. Hopefully, the next season, you [the fans] are with us and we can have a better run, especially if you are in the stadium,” he said.

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

Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters interim head coach Ishfaq Ahmed seemed content with his team’s performance. “The guys responded very well. Right now, the players need the motivation because we will not be qualifying. We did enough to win this match. But we will take this draw and continue working hard for the next match,” he said.

“We showed a lot of character. We have been talking about this a lot. We need to show character. If we take the lead, we need to hold on to it. Many times, we lost the lead, especially in the second half. If we are down then we need to show the character to come back and I am happy,” added Ahmed.

Chennaiyin’s Lallianzuala Chhangte was dangerous once again and tested the Blasters’ defence on a number of occasions and was rightly named Hero of the Match. “We had a plan for him. Although he was dangerous in the opening 10 minutes, I think Lalruatthara and Prasanth Karuthadathkuni had a good game [against Chhangte],” said Ahmed.

Watch Ishfaq Ahmed's Post-Match Press conference here:


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