NorthEast United will be looking to hold on to their 2-1 first-leg advantage over Bengaluru on Monday at the Kanteerava Stadium
Late drama in Guwahati saw Harmanjot Khabra committing a foul on Juan Mascia inside the penalty box which helped NorthEast United register an important win.
Although Eelco Schattorie’s side won, star players Bartholomew Ogbeche and Rowllin Borges had to leave the field in the first half of the match itself due to injuries.
The Dutch coach, though, decided not to reveal whether the players will be available on Monday. He said, “No updates on Rowllin Borges and Bartholomew Ogbeche. Let them guess. I am being strategic, we will see tomorrow (Monday).”
Schattorie mentioned his team is ready to take on Bengaluru and will give their best to make it to the final. “We have not come here to get defeated, we have come here to win the match. I have exactly 16 players left and the players who are going to go on the pitch tomorrow will be going for a result. I know exactly how Bengaluru FC play and they know how we play.
“In the first half of the last game, we completely dominated. We lost two key players. Second half was way more difficult. But it had to with the changes we did in the team. But coming here we know that this is a game that is all or nothing. We will be trying to reach the final,” said the NorthEast boss.
The former East Bengal coach had absolutely no qualms about the penalty that his side got in the first leg. He said, “For me, it was a clear penalty. (Harmanjot) Khabra almost undressed him (Juan Mascia). I mean if you don’t agree on that then I am sorry. When we got a penalty in the league stage against Bengaluru, I admitted that it was a soft penalty.”
The Dutchman is not worried about playing at the Kanteerava Stadium in front of the Bengaluru fans. He suggested, “A game is a game. We have a really good away result. But that I don’t care. We try to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent. I don’t think if it is an away or a home game. I don’t think in India home or away make any difference. We have come here for three points and we will try to reach the final.”
There was a controversial moment in the first leg right after the full time whistle when Dimas Delgado and the Bengaluru support staff were involved in a scuffle with NorthEast United players.
But Schattorie did not want to speak much about the incident. He said, “I don’t know what happened there. I spoke to my assistant coach, I will not give any details. I think it was blown out of proportion. All of them shook hands after that and everything was fine. Yesterday night I found out that our assistant coach got suspended. I think also the same for Bengaluru.”