Chennaiyin FC got a 2-1 come-from-behind win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on Monday.
Manvir Singh scored the first goal for ATK in the first half as Kwame Karikari and Rahim Ali netted in the closing minutes to clinch the away tie for the Marina Machans.
Chennaiyin FC boss Thomas Brdaric was pleased with his side’s comeback and heaped praise on the team at the post match press conference.
“We are very proud to have won the three points and make our club owners and fans happy. I’m very pleased with my players. We played in a professional way," Brdaric said.
Brdaric had special praise for Kwame Karikari’s performance, who won and converted a penalty and assisted the second goal.
“Kari is a very important player. He should make the difference (in the coming games). I told the guys today, we want to make a difference. We also have players also on the bench who can come on and change games. We have a big squad and Kari’s one part of it. He’s very humble and modest with his position. We know about his qualities and are very happy that we have brought him in our squad and he paid off with his performance," Brdaric said.
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When News18.com caught up with Rahim Ali after the game, he said he was just happy to help his team get all three points.
“It was our first match of the season and we always try to start off on a positive note. I am happy that I could help the team win and hope to do more in the future,” Rahim said.
“This was like a home game for me and I am always excited to play here (in Kolkata),” he said.
ATK Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando asserted that the penalty was the turning point of the match and how his team’s ‘recurring problem’ is haunted him.
“When the team conceded the goals, the players at those moments lost confidence leading to misplaced passes, missing opportunities," Ferrando said at the post match press conference.
“After the penalty, things took a different mode for the players as the mentality changed, the players started to lose confidence, it was necessary to change (the style of play), try something different, support them. Sometimes, it is necessary to change, this situation is definitely not good for them, and 100% there will be changes in the mentality," he said.
“When we miss the chances, this is a recurring problem. When we have 5-6 chances, it is necessary to put three of them in the goal, and in this match we faced a huge problem in doing that," he added.
Chennaiyin FC will return home to host Bengaluru FC on October 14 as ATK Mohun Bagan travel to face Kerala Blasters in their second match on October 16.