We could have won against Bengaluru FC: NorthEast United FC’s Juan Benali
NorthEast United FC head coach Juan Pedro Benali shared his thoughts after his side were held to a draw by Bengaluru FC in an end-to-end contest.
NorthEast United FC head coach Juan Pedro Benali believes his team was capable of securing three points had they converted their chances in their 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
In Guwahati, NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC earned a point each after an end-to-end contest. Sunil Chhetri gave Bengaluru FC the lead from the spot, but an own goal from Aleksandar Jovanovic cancelled out Chhetri’s opener. Both teams couldn't convert their chances in the second half, sharing the spoils in the end.
Goalkeeper Mirshad Michu fouled Chhetri in the first half, providing the visitors a penalty, which was eventually converted by the Bengaluru FC captain. NorthEast United FC managed to find their way back into the game, but Benali felt that it was not solely Michu to blame for the result.
“It’s not only Mirshad (who made a mistake),” Benali said in the post-match press conference.
“To arrive there (in the box) and the goals we didn't score, it's everyone (who needs to be accountable). Goalkeepers save us a thousand times, and sometimes we only remember the one mistake he did. He (Michu) did a great job. We (coaching staff) did a mistake. Maybe we put in a player we shouldn't have put or didn't put in another player. Everybody makes mistakes. It happens,” he further said.
He added: “We played against a very strong team. Don’t forget, it’s Bengaluru FC, not any other team. Great players, great coach. We could win (the game). We had many chances to win, but this is football.”
While NorthEast United FC had a very small share of possession, they created multiple chances throughout the game. They had five attempts on target, and despite Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu having some nervous moments, they couldn't manage to find the back of the net.
This is the second straight game where the Highlanders have dropped points since their defeat to Odisha FC in the game before. Benali backed his side despite their inability to convert and said that his players would come good with time.
“We are not worried (about not finishing our chances). As I said before, this is nothing that you can train. That comes from calmness, experience, time, and confidence. When we start pushing (the team) we need to win, we need this, we need that... We get nervous. Sometimes, the goalkeeper appears big and the goal appears small. But when you start scoring, things get easier, this is football. It’s about (giving players) time,” Benali said.