CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC secured a crucial point in a tough encounter as they shared the spoils with arch-rivals Bengaluru FC in a 1-1 draw in their first home game of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
Roy Krishna saw his header cancelled out by Prashanth K late into the first half. The Blues had an advantage in the latter stages of the game when Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Debjit Majumder received a red card, but the hosts held the fort and managed to pull off a draw.
The Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric was disappointed with his side's performance during the opening exchanges but praised his team's fighting spirit despite being put under pressure on several occasions during the game.
"Generally, when you take a point against Bengaluru FC, you can be satisfied. But on the other side, if you see the game, there was a lack of concentration in the beginning. We didn't mark their players and let them score. We gave the ball away easily and misplaced some simple passes, especially in the first 10 minutes. I was a bit surprised because we were playing at home. We have confidence and have done well (in Chennai) in the past. But you see the challenge and in the beginning, you must be very concentrated, a little bit experienced and be patient. We made simple mistakes. But the way we bounced back, it gives me good hope for the upcoming games," Thomas Brdaric said in a post-match press conference as quoted by ISL.com.
"We created more chances, we deserved more. We scored a bit later in the first half, but we could have scored earlier. We invested so much effort and we sacrificed (our play) in the last 20 minutes of the game. We should learn from this game and in the end, we carry on with four points," he added.
Talking about if the team feeds off the confidence the players give each other, Brdaric said, "Yes, but in football, you also need some luck. You also need power and some of the players are behind. They had some injuries and are struggling with their preparation. And to deliver, you have to deliver at the right moment. We had some substitutes and we could deliver a good performance against Bengaluru FC."
"That is why you need everything in balance and everyone will get their opportunities. I told my players we have a big squad and everybody will get the opportunity to prove themselves and be an important part for the team. We as a coaching staff have good knowledge and experience. We need to give the players the right opportunities at the right moment," he added.