Schattorie: Only one team played football here today
Kerala Blasters FC suffered a 1-0 loss to Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. It was an intriguing Southern Derby with both sides creating ample opportunities to score, but the match was eventually decided by a 55th minute Sunil Chhetri goal.
At the post-match press conference, Kerala head coach Eelco Schattorie opined, “There was only one team who played football here. We played fantastic football in the first-half and had Bengaluru on the ropes. My tactics were spot on. We had only three foreigners and two Indian centre backs. They (Bengaluru) had nothing to say at their own home ground.”
“I am very disappointed for all the Kerala supporters who came all the way in numbers. I think we deserved to win. Bengaluru, like the last game, played via set-pieces. They had maybe one or two chances, that’s it,” he added.
Kerala did find the back of the net in the dying seconds of the match but the goal was eventually ruled out for offside. Addressing the incident, the Dutchman stated, “From what I understood, it was not an offside, but I will have to check. I am very disappointed but extremely proud considering we brought the game to them and had them by the throat.”
Asked why Sahal Abdul Samad started the match from the bench, Schattorie responded, “I have to adjust my system. Sahal is fantastic but he cannot play through the midfield. We have injuries and I had to put out the best possible team. What we should be talking about is not Sahal but how we put Bengaluru under pressure with a depleted team. Sahal will get there with time.”
Kerala had to end the match with ten men after their final substitute Mohammed Rafi injured himself late on and had to be stretchered off. Enquired about the injury, the 47-year-old remarked, “The last part of the game, I had to go for it. I had to take risks so I put Rafi behind the strikers. But he got injured. It’s like someone is putting voodoo on my team, it’s not a good feeling. I am yet to check on him and I hope he is alright.”
Read the Match Report here.