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ISL: First win away special for Mumbai City FC, says Nicolas Anelka

Photo Credit: ISL

Photo Credit: ISL

Nicolas Anelka on Friday said his team deserved to win their last game of the season where they beat Atletico de Kolkata 3-2 in an Indian Super League (ISL) tie.

Kolkata: Mumbai City FC coach cum marquee player Nicolas Anelka on Friday said his team deserved to win their last game of the season where they beat Atletico de Kolkata 3-2 in an Indian Super League (ISL) tie.

"We wanted to play today even when we had the option of playing the game on Sunday. But we chose to play even though we were tired. But we deserved to win today," he said.

The former Chelsea striker said he was pleased with the efforts of his side and added it was special to win the first game away from home.

"Pleased with the players today. We wanted to qualify for the semis but it's a shame we did not. We could have done a lot better in the season. But today we showed fighting spirit and we won. It was special, first win away from home," he said.

Asked if he will be back for the third season of the league, Anelka said:" I don't know yet. I will enjoy the win for now."

The former Arsenal marksman added that he does not know how long he will continue with the coaching role as he found it difficult to balance it with performing as a player.

"It (coaching) is something I don't want to do. It is difficult to focus as a player and a coach. It's hard work, it is tough. I enjoyed my time here but not sure if I will do it again," he said.

ATK coach Antonio Lopez Habas also said his team lost the match here as they did not play with 100 percent intensity as there was "too much distraction".

"We just did not play with 100 percent intensity. There was too much of distraction. The players maybe had the semi-finals in mind (since ATK have qualified) and therefore there was a lack of concentration," Habas said.

Asked what went wrong in the game, he said: "Mumbai had no pressure and they played well, I don't know why but we played with a lot of pressure."

Habas added that he did not play Bostwana midfielder Ofentse Nato as he was on three yellow cards and another one in the game would have sidelined him from the first-leg of the semi-final.

"Nato has three yellow cards, so we did not want to risk him," said the Spaniard.