ISL 2020-21: Hyderabad FC restricted Bengaluru FC to a 2-2 draw with two late strikes in the Indian Super League (ISL) match and head coach Manuel Marquez stressed that levelling the scores at the end was not because of any ‘good luck’.
Goals from Sunil Chhetri and Leon Augustin gave the Blues a two-goal advantage but late strikes from Aridane Santana and Fran Sandaza meant that the teams had to share the spoils during the ISL clash on Thursday. Impressed with his team’s spirit, Marquez said he is “very proud” of the players for securing a very important point against Bengaluru. “I am very proud of my players for the whole season and not just today. Today it wasn’t good luck or a coincidence that we equalised right at the end… because they believed till the end of the game… we didn’t deserve to lose the game. We failed with very clear chances and the second Bengaluru goal was a gift [to them] by our team. I think at the end of the game, we had a lot of players on the pitch and got one very important point,” Marquez said after the match.
The Spaniard went on to reveal that he urged his players to stick to their style of play at the break. “At halftime, I told my players that if we continue playing the same way we have the possibility to win the game. They scored through one of their strong points that is set-pieces, but after 15 minutes Hyderabad were in control of the game. We failed [to take] clear chances. We changed the system at the end of the game,” Marquez said.
The 52-year-old also praised both his goal-scorers on the night. “I think if we have both players available, we will have more possibilities. There are very strong teams in this league, I cannot say for sure that if Fran and Aridane are in good form, we will be in the top four because there are very good teams,” he said.
“But I think that Fran is a great player. He’s a player who has played at the top level not just in Spain but also for Glasgow Rangers [in Scotland], Japan, China… a lot of countries. He’s had problems with injuries but let’s see if we can count on him because he will be a very important player for us,” Marquez added.