Chennaiyin FC head coach Csaba Laszlo praised his Indian players for their attitude and the never-give-up attitude as they managed to get a point against Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 table-toppers Mumbai City FC on Monday at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa. Chennaiyin FC created numerous and put a lot of pressure on Mumbai but required a penalty to get an important point.
Mumbai had taken the lead in the 21st minute through a Bartholomew Ogbeche header. Chennaiyin had chances to equalise while Mumbai had opportunities to score a second goal but both were unable to capitalise on them. Ahmed Jahouh committed a horrible error in the 75th minute when he was caught day-dreaming with the ball at his feet after he asked for it from Amrinder Singh. With Jakub Sylvestr pressurising Jahouh, he stuck his leg out and caught the Chennaiyin striker to give away the penalty. Esmael Goncalves converted from the spot to score the equaliser.
Laszlo stated that even though he wanted to win, he was happy with the one point and though his team played good football overall. "I think generally we played not bad football, there were crosses but finish wasn't there and Mumbai got a very good goal and much couldn't be done about that. I told the boys that we had the chance, I play with pleasure against ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City because I can do better tactically. I think we deserved the point. I wanted to win but I am not disappointed with the one point," Laszlo said to the broadcasters after the match.
Laszlo chuckled at the lack of finish from Chennaiyin FC and said they must attack more in the box. However, he praised Sylvestr for the pressure he put on Mumbai in the box that earned the penalty for the team.
"I think this is an endless story (chuckles). In our offence this year, we aren't fantastic. I miss Crivellaro and Thapa due to injury but I am proud of my players for understanding my tactics and we play with what we have. Tonight we showed a very good game but in the box, I am missing the killing instinct. There have been good crosses but you have to attack the ball in the box. But I must also be please that Sylvestr pressured to get the penalty and Isma scored," he said.
Laszlo shared that he was scared after the heartbreaking loss against ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous game, where the team conceded in stoppage time. However, he was pleased to see the fighting attitude of the Indian players and went on to say that the ISL games were more entertaining than the European ones.
"I had a little bit fear after ATK game as I saw a lot of sad faces in the dressing room but I was happy to see the players stand up and say 'we will do well against Mumbai City'. It's a miracle that these Indian players don't give up. I saw four games of Europe last night but the matches here are more entertaining. The players might not have the quality of Europe but they never give up," Laszlo praised.
The coach said he was trying different combinations in attack and said the team will have to concentrate and try to score.
"In the last game, I played Isma with Ali, Isma with Jakub, Jakub with Ali. In this case I have to try with what I have. I have these players, I am encouraging them and talking to them. Sometimes, it doesn't look fantastic but if you have to win games, you have to put foot in the pitch. In the offensive part, Isma and Jakub scored a lot in the previous clubs and hope they can do the same here. Lanzarote is in and I have a bit more possibility in the attacking part. This is what I have. I know everyone is waiting for goals from us, especially since we miss a lot but we have to just concentrate and try to score."