Bengaluru FC scripted its fourth draw of the season and stayed in the sith spot of the 2020-21 Indian Super League table. Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC recorded its sixth draw and remained at seventh. While Bengaluru is a former champion, NEU is yet to win the title.
Bengaluru FC extended its winless streak to five matches. It settled for a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United FC in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL), at the Tilak Maidan in Goa, on Wednesday. While Bengaluru stays on the sixth, NEU remains on seventh.
It all began with Machado's 27th-minute strike. However, Rahul Bheke levelled it in the 49th minute, as both the sides shared the honours, with the deadlock in place.
Following the game, Bengaluru interim manager, Naushad Moosa, was not happy with the draw, as he reckoned, "To tell you the truth, I am not happy. We could have done better. Both the goals were gifted. The way we played was much better than the last game. Again, every point counts now. I am still happy with the draw, but we could have done much better."
As the side gets an eight-day break, speaking on the preparations for the next game, Moosa told, "Firstly it's very important for me to give the players good rest, because we played two close game in less than 48 hours. We will first relax and do some recovery training tomorrow and then have a day or two of rest, depending on what our doctor has to say. It's very important to keep the players motivated and ready for the next game. Kerala Blasters won its last game and will be confident. We will need to work more on our finishing now."
"Right now, you saw my first XI. It's not a bad team. The way our boys played today, I don't have to think twice about having the same first XI. I can always continue with them. I did not bring in many changes since the team was doing well. Kristian (Opseth) seemed tired and is not used to the heat, so I brought on Leon. Since Udanta has been off-colour, I preferred Leon, who really impressed me," he further opined.
Speaking on the pressure as the coach, Moosa remarked, "It's too much. It's been very difficult for me for the last four-five days. But again, it was really nice to have all the senior players help me. I spoke to them one on one trying to get things out and find out what they really feel. The way they were confident...because I've been with reserve team and have shown results and they were confident I can. And, the way they played against SC East Bengal and now, the way they were keeping the ball. We have nine games. From here, will take all the positives and move forward."
Bengaluru midfielder, Erik Paartalu, too, was disappointed with the loss, as he figured, "Both teams will probably be disappointed to not come away with a win. We had some chances in the first half that we could have converted. It wasn't a loss for us, so that's a positive."
Speaking on the training tactics with Moosa, he judged, "It's fresh ideas from Moosa and the guys. We needed to refresh for a couple of weeks. It's not easy being in bubble. We have a new lease of life playing under Moosa and a different way of playing. We're trying to move the ball quicker and are trying to enjoy our football again. We're not as sort of restricted and relying on set-plays as much as we have been in the past. It's a building phase. There's half a season to go and we're not giving up yet."
"Every team here from the eighth to the third is in a fighting position for the top-four. Every game is important. We have eight days to recover. We'll take the point from today and move on," he perceived on the next game against Kerala Blasters.
Meanwhile, NEU defender, Dylan Fox, recalled, "I feel like we'll just take a draw today after last week's performance. We wanted the three points and we'll look for that next week. We're going to push for three points every game. We aim to make it to the top-4. We need to stick to our structure and work hard. It was a little difficult today, but happy with the performance. We can adapt and played well. Suhair was good."
NEU was without its coach, Gerard Nus, for the game, as Fox counted, "It's always difficult, you know. We always want him there. He's pushing us every game and towards the three points."
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Last Updated Jan 13, 2021, 10:53 AM IST