Marquez: First goal key to Hyderabad FC’s win after a weak first half

Hyderabad FC registered the biggest win of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 4-0 triumph over Kerala Blasters FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday. The Blasters looked the more threatening outfit in the opening period and could have scored on a few occasions. However, Hyderabad completely dominated the second period and scored four goals. Fran Sandaza opened the scoring early in the half and then added a second from the penalty spot. Aridane Santana and Joao Victor netted late to cap off a memorable win for Manuel Marquez’s men.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Marquez felt that the first goal played a key role in the outcome of the contest. “I think if we look at the first half, we weren’t very worried… I think the first goal was very important because we are trying to qualify for the top-four. The first goal for me was key in this game,” the Spaniard said.

While discussing how his team upped their game in the second half, Marquez said: “We didn’t play a good first half. During some moments, Kerala played better than us. We didn’t find the spaces in the first half without good positioning, but the players were calm in the dressing room [at halftime]. Once we scored [in the second half], the confidence grew. If they scored before us, we would be speaking about another thing but fortunately for us, Hyderabad was the team that scored.”

One set-back that Hyderabad endured in the game was an injury to Asish Rai, who had to be stretchered off and when asked for an update on the fullback, Marquez replied: “It’s very soon [to tell]. It doesn’t seem too good but let’s see because it’s his knee and we have to look at whether it’s because of only a kick [to his knee] or if it’s a twist. If it’s a twist then that’s his season over. If it’s only a kick then maybe he can play in the next game, but I don’t know for sure at the moment.”

Watch Manuel Marquez’s Post-Match Press conference here:

Meanwhile, Kerala’s head coach Kibu Vicuna bemoaned the defensive lapses after the defeat. “We lost 4-0 but we played a decent first half and had the best two chances [in the opening period]. Prasanth [Karuthadathkuni] had one and the second was for Gary Hooper. I think the match was very even till the first goal. Unfortunately, we made another defensive mistake for the second goal and that’s where the match was finished for us,” he said.

When pressed over individual errors by his players, Vicuna added: “Football is a sport of mistakes. We are working in the training sessions to play well and avoid mistakes, but the players commit mistakes, you know. Unfortunately, a senior player with a lot of experience committed two mistakes [tonight] and that has been the case for the entire season.”

Watch Kibu Vicuna’s Post-Match Press conference here:


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