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'We deserved it' - Loyola Sparks coach Vincent Santos after his side's extra-time defeat of Geylang in the Singapore Cup

'We deserved it' - Loyola Sparks coach Vincent Santos after his side's extra-time defeat of Geylang in the Singapore Cup

Zeng Liwei

Geylang coach Kanan was left to rueing missed chances, while Santos thought it a deserved win for the Filipino side

Geylang coach Kanan Vedhamatu, felt that his side was the better team despite conceding in extra tim"e.

“I am very proud of my boys," said the caretaker coach.

"They played their heart out for 120 minutes. Most of them gave 100, 120 even 150%. I think we were the better team.

"We created more chances, especially in the first-half, the end of second-half and were the fitter team."

Speaking about the goals his side conceded, Kanan lamented that luck was not on Geylang’s side tonight and admitted that Loyola’s equaliser turned the tide.

"We were the fitter team and knew the pitch well," he said.

"But they [Loyola Sparks] had one chance and it was a deflected goal.

"I told my boys how they dangerous they were at shooting from different angles and that they had to close down quickly. Unfortunately, that shot took a deflection and was a goal.

“It was a lapse of concentration when they equalised. Our player, Zhi Wei was out and Mubarak had shifted to cover for him. They managed to play the ball behind Mubarak, which was then squared for the equaliser.

"That was the turning point of the match.”

When asked about Mun’s glaring miss in the dying minutes that could have sent the match to penalties, Kanan expressed his disappointment at lack of awareness from the player.

“I definitely thought he should have squared the ball," he told Goal.com Singapore.

"Michael King was there and in a better position. It was selfish of Mun to try and take that shot himself because that angle was very, very acute. If he had just squared the ball, I think we could have sent it to a penalty shootout.”

Loyola Meralco Sparks coach, Vincent Santos, had other ideas and felt that his team came out top in this occasion.

“Lucky? I think we are definitely happy with the win, but I would not say that we were lucky," said the visibly delighted coach.

"We deserved it. Although we missed some good chances in the first-half, we were able to convert in the second and in extra time.”

“We held our back four very well with our two Koreans. Mark Hartmann also did an excellent job in midfield, the first time he has been asked to play there. He distributed the ball very well. James and Phil Younghusband both played well and remained our go-to players.

"It was a concerted team effort that got us the win, many players stepped up.”

Santos also spoke about playing a Singapore side for the first time and played down Loyola’s chances for the remainder of the tournament.

“I would say they [Geylang] were bigger sized opponents than what we are used to," said the Loyola coach modestly.

"It was also a challenge for us, playing on an artificial pitch. It was a bit sticky, which might explain why many of the players ended with cramps.”

“It is hard to say how far we can go as it is only the first round. We will take each game as it comes and are definitely treating this cup as one of our priorities. Our local league ends in mid-June which should give us enough time to focus on the next Cup match.”

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