Despite Pailan Arrows’ 2-1 defeat at the hand of defending champions Dempo SC, Arthur Papas looked a happy man. His side did fail to test a makeshift Dempo defense, but still Papas thought that his team showed good character to come back in the game.
Pailan keeper Ravi Kumar had a nightmare start to the game as he was legally shoved away from the ball by Joaquim Abranches who then tapped home into an empty net. Although from then on, Palian‘s play improved but was lacking in the creative department.
“We conceded a couple of early corners which we dealt with well. The organization was good, discipline was good, it’s (the first goal we conceded) got nothing to do with that. If you see the silly goal, we are already behind too early in the game. But then you see the character of the boys which was good, because for the rest of the half, we created some good chances, although I am not sure if it was a penalty (through which Pailan equalised)," said Papas.
The India U-22 coach felt that his side were denied a penalty towards the end of the game and he highlighted the importance of what experience brings into a side.
“I thought we should have got a penalty right at the end of the second half. This is again the difference from a team that has experienced players who know how to do the job. They don’t give away that silly goal which we do. These are the little differences, but overall I think we were excellent and I am proud of my players. They have kept moving the ball around and created a lot. This team is still developing individuals within a team as much as possible," he mentioned.
When asked about his approach as he definitely considered this defeat to Dempo as a success in terms of the character of the squad, Papas explains, "We still want be as successful as possible and you can measure the success in different ways. I will never go into a dressing room and tell the boys that I am happy we lost the game. And that’s what I have been telling them, that you can’t play well and still have that feeling where you’ve lost because it’s not a nice feeling to have.“
“You’ve got to learn now as the next step in the development is that the performance gets you the result. Because most of the time I have worked with senior teams, so I am used to seeing them at the top," he explained.
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