Pailan Arrows coach Arthur Papas heaped praise on his boys for dominating their opponents in United Sikkim on Monday in a game which ended in a 1-1 draw at the Kalyani Stadium. While they did manage to create a plethora of chances, poor finishing cost them a deserved three points. But the lack of finishing cost them the deserved three points.
“I think the players were excellent. They played a great game today. We conceded a silly goal from a set-piece. And apart from that we were good in the field. We dominated in the first half and kept possession most of the times. In the second half we lost the plot for possibly the first ten minutes. But it was hard to come back from being one goal down,” said the Australian.
“The opponent was playing mostly long balls, relying upon the two strikers upfront. However for my team eleven players worked hard. Also the substitutes left a big mark. Shaiju (Mon) played in the cross and Tirthankar (Sarkar) scored. Both of them were brought in the second half. So, on the whole, I am happy with the game boys have played today.”
However, Papas was concerned about the sloppy start in the second half which saw them allow the visitors have more time on the ball.
“Yes, the urgency was missing in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The lack of concentration took its toll and they took the lead from a set-piece. But we also created a lot of chances. A very good chance came our way inside the first five minutes after the break, which Len (Seminlen Doungel) could not convert. If that goal was scored and we went 1-0 up, the story could have been different. But when you trail, you need to exhibit your character and skill. My boys did that today.”
Pailan have scored a mere 17 goals from their 19 outings though the coach denied that goal scoring has become a cause of concern.
“That’s not a problem. They need chances to convert into goals. This is the reason behind including the Arrows side in to the league. You need to give more Indian players the opportunity. We are trying to uphold Indian strikers. Don’t get upset with them. These are all parts of the game. If you look at other teams of the league also, you will find that not many Indian strikers have excelled,” he pointed.
Tirthankar Sarkar was brought in the 81st minute and he impressed with his trademark down the wing runs on the left flank. He went on to score the equaliser for the home side which eventually won them a point from the tie.
“He certainly deserves a first team chance,” Papas spoke of Tirthankar. “But he has to wait for the opportunity. The same line goes for Shaiju also,” he added.
Pailan now has 19 points from their 17 games played. They face a mighty East Bengal side in their next match.
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