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ISL 2016 | NorthEast can win in Kochi, says coach Nelo Vingda

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SportsCafe Desk

12/01/2016

Head coach Nelo Vingda is confident that NorthEast United will put it across Kerala Blasters in their final group game in Kochi on Sunday for their maiden entry into the ISL semi-finals after keeping their qualification hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Delhi Dynamos in Guwahati.

“Emiliano Alfaro created good chances and if any team deserved to win, then our team was the correct winner and today I am not only happy with the win but I am also happy with the performance, attitude and the way we played, especially in the second half,” Vingada told a post-match news conference.

“If we can play like the way we played today, like the way we played in Delhi and Chennai, then we can do well in Kochi and there will be fifty-sixty thousand people and I have been involved in games which have a large number of spectators... let’s see what happens in Kerala and I believe we can win for sure,” he added.

Needing a draw to keep up with Kerala for the last playoff spot, NorthEast pulled off a surprise win over Dynamos on Wednesday. After a dodgy first half, NorthEast drew first blood through Seityasen Singh and 11 minutes later Romaric doubled their lead before Marcelinho pulled one back for Delhi.

“We had a belief that we could get a point. The game between Kerala and Atlético de Kolkata finished in a draw, so we knew we also had to do the same, that a win or draw for us would mean the same,” said Vingada.

“We did not start the game very well but the second half was much better for us. In the first half we were lucky as they missed a good chance and TP Rehenesh made a good save.” 

A perfect day for NorthEast was marred by injury to top-scorer Nicolas Velez, who had to be taken off as early as the 12th minute.

“I think it cannot be a serious injury because in the beginning he felt some pain and we didn’t insist on him playing anymore. Suppose today was the last game, maybe he could continue. To prevent any serious injury we took him off. He has been an important player to us,” the 63-year-old coach said.

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