Marquez proud of Hyderabad players after thrilling draw

Hyderabad FC netted twice late in Match 74 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 to earn a point following a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Thursday. Goals from Sunil Chhetri and Leon Augustin gave the Blues a two-goal advantage but a couple of late strikes from Aridane Santana and Fran Sandaza meant that the teams had to share the spoils.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Hyderabad head coach Manuel Marquez said that he was ‘proud’ of his players. “I am very proud of my players for the whole season and not just today. Today it wasn’t good luck or a coincidence that we equalised right at the end… because they believed till the end of the game… we didn’t deserve to lose the game. We failed with very clear chances and the second Bengaluru goal was a gift [to them] by our team. I think at the end of the game, we had a lot of players on the pitch and got one very important point,” he.

The Spaniard went on to reveal that he urged his players to stick to their style of play at the break. “At halftime, I told my players that if we continue playing the same way we have the possibility to win the game. They scored through one of their strong points that is set-pieces, but after 15 minutes Hyderabad were in control of the game. We failed [to take] clear chances. We changed the system at the end of the game,” Marquez said.

The 52-year-old also praised both his goal-scorers on the night. “I think if we have both players available, we will have more possibilities. There are very strong teams in this league, I cannot say for sure that if Fran and Aridane are in good form, we will be in the top four because there are very good teams. But I think that Fran is a great player. He’s a player who has played at the top level not just in Spain but also for Glasgow Rangers [in Scotland], Japan, China… a lot of countries. He’s had problems with injuries but let’s see if we can count on him because he will be a very important player for us,” Marquez said.

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

Meanwhile, Bengaluru’s interim head coach Naushad Moosa admitted that the draw was a bitter pill to swallow. “In four minutes, conceding two goals is really not digestible. We played well, defended well and showed character. In the end, we switched off and gave them easy goals, which is something we’ve been struggling with all season,” he said.

The 49-year-old rued Bengaluru’s lack of concentration towards the end of the match. “I don’t want to say that fitness was a problem. It’s just those last moments where we need to be more cautious; we were casual. You have to be serious till the last whistle and they have been doing that well and they had a good game, it’s not like they played a bad game, but it was just those fractions of seconds where we switched off. I’ve been telling them that, so we need to work on that,” Moosa said.

Watch Naushad Moosa's Post-Match Press conference here:


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