Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto feels happy for his players after they registered their first win in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023–24 season, defeating Chennaiyin FC by a 1-0 scoreline at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.

This game unfolded with waves of attacks from the home side utilizing both flanks, with Vincy Barretto and Ninthoinganba Meetei prominent. The Marina Machans created numerous goal-scoring chances, but their inability to convert those chances cost them three crucial points at home.

However, the Yellow and Blacks also had their chances in the game, while Abdul Rabeeh and Joseph Sunny’s efforts were denied by the crossbar. In the 90th minute, defender Sajad Parray's goal from a set-piece situation led Hyderabad FC to their first victory after going winless in their last 18 games.

Singto acknowledged that they had anticipated the difficulties that the opponent team presented but commended his players’ hard work, who finally got rewarded for their fighting spirit.

“Before the match, we knew that Chennaiyin FC would be high in confidence because they just defeated Odisha FC, which is one of the strongest teams. After beating Odisha FC, of course, they were going to fight for the top six. I told the boys that it was going to be the toughest game we ever played,” he stated.

“In the first half, we were nowhere in terms of the game. I won't say (they) stream rolled, but we were just defending. Of course, that one shot from Rabeeh hit the bar and dropped back, but apart from that, I think we didn't really create (any chances), but the effort was there. Sometimes, in football, you are rewarded for your hard work even if you don't play well. Ultimately, hard work paid off. We are very happy for the boys more than anyone else,” he continued.

The Indian head coach heaped praise on his veteran goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani and his young Indian defensive line, who rose to the occasion to secure their first win and first clean sheet in the ISL 2023-24 season.

“Big credit to Kattimani, and big credit to the back four and all the youngsters. But we're very happy today, and deservedly,” he commented.

“But there are a lot of things to learn because we want to play better in terms of how we want to organize our play in different phases of the game and different parts of the game. But ultimately, we are very happy for the win,” he added.

After the game, Chennaiyin FC supporters, along with the travelling fans, were also seen applauding the young Hyderabad FC squad for their first victory after a tough phase. Singto highly commended the home fans for their courtesy towards his team, believing these gestures would inspire his players moving forward.

“A big salute to the Chennaiyin FC fans because they understand the situation despite supporting their home team. We had all the Indian boys tonight, and we were like underdogs. So, underdogs are always cheered upon, and today they did that. Thank you very much to the Hyderabad FC fans who came all the way and have been watching and supporting us home, away, and on the side,” he asserted.

“But what Chennaiyin FC fans did - was something commendable for Indian football. Of course, the foreigners are there always to help us, but when the Indian boys do well, I think they need a little bit of pat on the back, and those types of shouts really propel their confidence to a higher stage,” he concluded.