Owen Coyle: Can't afford to sit back and defend in the second leg

Chennaiyin FC put in a masterful display to beat FC Goa 4-1 in the first leg of their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 semi-final clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. After a goalless first half, Lucian Goian, Anirudh Thapa, Eli Sabia and Lallianzuala Chhangte put the Marina Machans 4-0 up. Saviour Gama scored a crucial late away goal for the Gaurs.

At the post-match press conference, Chennaiyin head coach Owen Coyle analyzed the contest and noted, “I think they paid us huge respect in terms of setting off the game. We commanded the game in the first quarter. But all said and done, Goa are a very strong side while counter attacking. I said to the boys at half time that we must start passing the ball more fluently. We had some misplaced passes and unforced errors in the first. So, we have to take care of the ball and the result will come. When we got the chances, we scored some wonderful goals. It was an outstanding performance.”

“The game was finely balanced at nil-nil. I think a draw was fair in the first half. But when we scored the goals, we created a momentum. Some of the goals we scored were fantastic, both individual and team goals. But there is nothing final yet, far from it. We have a real game in our hands next week and we must try and see the job through,” the Irishman added.

Coyle then reiterated the importance of replicating similar levels of performance in the second leg in Goa, leaving no place for complacency. “What we have to do now is go to Goa and replicate this performance and not sit back. Goa will attack with the quality that they have. I’ve been involved in many such situations; it’s just half time in the tie and we have to make sure we do the second part of the job next week. I can assure you there will be no complacency. We haven’t come this far to stop now. We are very respectful of the opposition because if we don’t do that, we can get hurt. The players in the Goa team can punish us,” he stated.

Despite the commanding display on the night, Coyle was disappointed to have conceded the away goal late in the contest. “If there was a disappointment tonight, then it was conceding the goal,” he opined.

Read the Match Report here.

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