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NorthEast United v Bengaluru

ISL 2018-19: Carles Cuadrat - We deserved at least a draw

18:28 GMT 07/03/2019
Carles Cuadrat Bengaluru FC
The Bengaluru FC boss was pleased with his team's second half performance and hopes to turn the tie around in the second leg ....

Bengaluru FC were handed a 2-1 defeat by NorthEast United in the first leg of their 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) play-off in Guwahati.  

Bengaluru boss Carles Cuadrat was aware that his team was second best in the first half and maintained that both teams put on a good show. He was happy with how his team responded in the second half and scored a vital away goal. 

“Football is like this. Sometimes you have more possession, sometimes you have less. Since they were playing at home, they were giving that extra (effort) for the supporters. But if you see in the second half, we were the better side, we were trying to play a clever game. We were working from one side to the other, trying to create the chances to score. I think it has been a nice game to watch with a lot of exciting things happening,” the Spaniard said. 

The 50-year-old felt that his team lacked a final pass after endless passages of plays and believed that their second half performance should have earned them at least a draw. 

“I asked my players to be calm with the possession of the ball. Sometimes we have been losing the last pass, the pass that can break the other team. We have the quality to make that pass. If you see our goal, Sunil (Chhetri) has the talent to make the action and for Xisco (Hernandez) to score. We have been missing that kind of last pass.  

“We were trying to counter-attack with Udanta (Singh), Sunil and Miku but the last pass was just not happening. It happens, I think it was a good game. We deserved to come at least with a draw and if you saw the second half, you would say that we deserved to win the game. But it’s okay, let’s see what happens in Kanteerava. 

“We have been winning a lot of games at home, so we will be working to get that win and go to the finals,” he stated.

Cuadrat defended his decision of starting new-signing Alex Barrera as he wanted his midfield to deal with NorthEast’s physicality in the first half. He said, “I was thinking that the first half will be physical, so we had Alex (Barrera) in midfield and not Xisco. Once I saw that we had to have more of good players who can play inside midfield, I decided to get Xisco in. I’m happy with how things went in the second half. It was an accident that we lost the game because NorthEast were doing absolutely nothing in the second half.”  

The Spaniard dismissed claims that Bengaluru switched off in the second half of the season and is confident of putting on a good show at home on Monday. 

“It’s a semifinal, we’re all focused, the other team is focused. This is all normal. We have the full squad and we have been competitive. In the last two weeks, we have been resting some players and that’s normal. There's nothing to say. We know how our team is and we know that we can put up a good show at the Kanteerva to comeback and advance to the finals. 

“I think they took an advantage of a mistake from our defence for their first goal. We can’t concede so easily. After that they just had to defend. I think they just had a few more shots after that. They have shown last week against Kerala that they can defend very well and avoid chances for our team. But we were very close and just couldn’t make the last pass. For me it should have been a better result for us in the second half,” he concluded.