Long balls from East Bengal FC created a lot of problem: Hyderabad FC’s Manolo Marquez

Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez admitted that his side were under the pressure in the second half as they saw off East Bengal FC with a 2-0 victory in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Friday.

Javier Sivierio opened the scoring for Hyderabad FC and Aaren D’Silva added another one in injury time as Hyderabad FC completed the double over East Bengal FC. Hosts East Bengal FC created plenty of opportunities, but couldn't make the most of them as they slumped to their 10th defeat of the season. Manolo Marquez’s side are now four points behind table toppers Mumbai City FC, their next opponents.

Marquez was pleased with the victory in Kolkata but was dissatisfied with his team’s performance in the second half.

“I'm satisfied with the three points and I'm satisfied with the first half where in my opinion we could kill the game. In the second half, we had a lot of problems. The long balls from East Bengal FC created a problem for our team. But when we cleared the ball, the team had a good organisation (in defence). But when you don't take the second action, the danger is always there and we scored very late like in the first leg. I think that East Bengal FC were pushing very well (for an equaliser) in the second half. I’m not happy with how we played in the second half. I was happy with how we played in the first,” Marquez stated at the post-match press conference.

Marquez fielded an unchanged eleven from their 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC. Rohit Danu earned his second straight start. Substitutes Abdul Rabeeh and goalscorer D’Silva also made an impact. Marquez heaped praise on his young players.

“We have to know that we played with a lot of young guys. It’s not an excuse, but for every team it is the same situation now. We have very important players injured like Hali(charan Narzary), Joao (Victor), (Laxmikant) Kattimani. I think that Gurmeet (Singh), (Rohit) Danu, (Abdul) Rabeeh, Aaren (D’Silva). We are very close to the top of the table. It’s tiresome, but these players deserve a monument in Hyderabad. Maybe in five-six years, people will be aware of what these players are doing,” Marquez mentioned.

Bartholomew Ogbeche was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet, but provided the assist for D’Silva’s goal in injury time. Marquez maintained that the Nigerian striker continues to be an important player for the team despite not scoring as often as last season - where he ended the Hero ISL 2021-22 season as the Golden Boot winner with 18 goals.

“Last season, when we were champions we played a lot of games with Javier Siverio as number nine and Bart behind him. But this season, I think Bart has more problems playing in this position. He doesn’t arrive to the box (as often). This is the reason that Joel when the last minutes, we had some clear chances during the counter-attack. But Bart is an important player for the team,” Marquez said.

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