Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Habas was a relieved man and lauded his marquee player Helder Postiga after the defending champions eked out a 3-2 victory over hosts Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) football opener.
Habas noted that Postiga, who scored twice, is a very good player and performed well in a very difficult game.
“Postiga played in a very difficult game and was very good. He had to brave too much humidity factor and the pitch was horrible. Unfortunately, he suffered a hamstring injury. I do not know his condition now as he has been taken to the hospital.”
- Antonio Lopez Habas looks to win against former team Atletico de Kolkata
- ISL 2016: Meeting of champions Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin ends fair and square
- Helder Postiga, Iain Hume hope to make a difference for Atletico de Kolkata
- ISL: I don’t think I will return, says Nicolas Anelka
- I do not want to cry, but the team needs a striker: ATK coach Antonio Habas
- ISL: Marquee magic works for Atletico de Kolkata in opener
About the outcome of the match, he said, “Yes am happy .. With 3 goals it was just like last game. Three points is not a competition.”
On conceding two goals, Habas said, “Very difficult to win against Chennai it has good players. My players played well. I am happy with performance.”
Asked whether the three Spanish players of his team are the strongest, the coach said “all players are same”.
When asked about Fikru Teferra, the marque player who was instrumental in Atletico winning the title last year before migrating to Chennaiyin FC, Habas said, “Fikru is a good player. We had a war but I cannot comment on referee.”
On the other hand, Chenniyin FC’s assistant coach Nagul defended his team’s performance and said, “I think we conceded soft goals and that has affected”.
“First goal itself we thought that we were unlucky, the goalkeeper left and the ball fell in a way that it favoured the opponent team and that affected us. And yes other goals we think were soft goals.”
Nagul added, “We always wanted to keep the ball in play. We thought that if we would have won some balls better I think it would have been more effective but as he said we realised that he was struggling alone with Jeje.
“All the players were trying to do the same keeping the ball on the ground. That was really getting better and better. We thought that we created several chances. We had more shots on the goal compared to the other team. I think we did well.”
On the absence of Marco, Nagul said “Yes his experience would have helped a little bit more.”