Tato: Have to credit Chennaiyin for their quality and mentality

FC Goa edged out Chennaiyin FC by a 4-3 scoreline at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday to go three points clear at the top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 table heading into the new year. Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes, Hugo Boumous and Ferran Corominas got on the scoresheet for Goa while a Rafael Crivellaro brace and an Andre Schembri header accounted for Chennaiyin's three goals.

FC Goa’s assistant coach, Jesus Tato attended the post-match press conference in the place of head coach Sergio Lobera and gave his thoughts on the win. “Big win for us today. These three points mean a lot to us. To end 2019 at the top of the table with 21 points is a great achievement, in my opinion.”

The Gaurs were leading 3-0 at half-time but were unnerved when Chennaiyin came back to score two in quick succession before Corominas netted what ultimately proved to be the winner. When asked what led to this, the Spaniard said, “First of all, I think the first half was good. If you take the ball in the final third, it's easier to create chances. With 3-0 up, maybe the players entered the break thinking the match is over.”

He continued, “Chennaiyin have very good players who have both experience and talent. They did try to do their best in the initial phases of the second half to come back or reduce the deficit. We did suffer then but our players came back to dominate the ball and scored the fourth goal which proved to be very important for us.”

When asked if the lapse in concentration at the start of the second half could have proven costly for the Gaurs, Tato replied, “I have to put the credit more on Chennaiyin's players than ours. Everyone knows about the quality and the mentality of the Chennaiyin players. They showed in the second half that they are a very good and strong team. Today we scored from most of the chances we created, but it’s true we conceded as well. We need to improve ourselves but it is better to win and then improve, rather than improve after losing matches.”

Finally, when asked what makes Goa such a formidable unit in the Hero ISL, he opined, “We have strong and good players in every part of the pitch. You can see that we have a very strong defence, have quick wingers who have great quality and Coro in front. This makes out squad very strong. We also have other players on the bench who are waiting for an opportunity. All of them possess enough quality and skills to make the starting XI. We are very lucky to have these players with us.”

Read the Match Report here.

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