We didn’t create many chances: Bengaluru FC’s head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli

It was a tale of two halves at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, as a cagey first half between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC was followed by a scintillating second half, which saw both teams score. The game ending in 1-1.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 84th minute when left-back Ashique Kuruniyan cut onto his weaker right foot and fired a shot on target from 20-yards out which was spilled by a diving Albino Gomes, who had made a vital point-blank save from Cleiton Silva just a few minutes before.

To Gomes’ relief, he wasn’t the only one guilty of making a blunder, as goalscorer Kuruniyan scored an own goal just four minutes after putting his side in front when he tried to clear the ball which was chipped to the far post by Marko Leskovic.

The Blues’ head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli felt that his side could have performed better on the night as he shared his views on this southern derby in the official post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Pezzaiuoli’s press conference:

You took off Sunil Chhetri in the second half, his performances haven’t been up to scratch this season, any reasons you made the move in this game in particular?

No, it was the third game for Sunil and I had three strikers on the bench, four almost and I want to bring fresh minds inside with maybe some new creativity, and when there’s the third game in the legs, to bring fresh guys, I think that’s also important because we have a good squad as well.

How would you rate today’s performance?

We are disappointed of course because we scored a goal in the 84th minute. We had a chance before from Cleiton to score as well, we dominated the game, we didn’t create so many chances which I think was the big issue. But it’s every time difficult to play against an opponent who only stays deep, close. While creating chances you have to be very patient and we were careless in the end, and the goal. When you still give pressure, pressure, and pressure and dominate the game, in the end maybe your opponent would make a mistake.

Your overall thoughts of the attacking performance of the team? What are your takeaways especially from the attacking side of the team?

Attacking is important every time. Especially in the first half, we passed through the defence line a lot of times but we didn't get the ball inside where the striker was waiting, we took too long time also to make the last pass. I think the striker goes in good positions, we need to get in the right places at the last moment and every time we try to dribble again, cut backwards. The ball must be between the post to bring inside in the box and then I think our striker can score goals but we need to bring the ball to the inside.

How important is Cleiton Silva for your side?

Cleiton makes not so good game like the first game, but he's important because that's why I keep him inside. It's also important for the free kicks and also his defensive work in set pieces is important. I think Prince (Ibara) when he came inside made a lot of action in the defence line with his deep runnings and Siva (Sivasakthi Narayanan), also made his debut in the league, I think we are proud to have a young guy who plays.

What do you tell Ashique after his performance tonight?

I think Ashique did well, better than the first two games. It’s a nice goal for him, it's also good for him. He knows he has a right foot. Of course, the goalkeeper helps a little bit, but still, he needs to improve his crosses. He needs to put earlier crosses in the box. But he makes I think the best game of the last three games.

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