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AFC Cup 2019: Mario Lemos - Silly mistakes against ISL sides will cost you

7:22 PM WAT 30/04/2019
Mario Lemos, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia Super League, 18072018
The Portuguese manager thought the substitutions made by Chennaiyin did the trick of the Indian side...

Abahani Dhaka lost their first 2019 AFC Cup Group E game against Chennaiyin FC by the slightest of margins in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Set up by Anirudh Thapa, former Jamshedpur FC man Wellington Priori scored an own goal to see the Indian Super League (ISL) side move to the top of the table after the third round.

"It was a good match. We were very compact defensively and limited them in the first half. In the second half, they were better and they are a good side. The goal was a bit hard to concede but what can you do. We restricted their game down the middle where they are strongest," Abahani Dhaka coach Mario Lemos commented.

"This is where Bangladeshi football needs to improve. We did some silly mistakes against Minerva Punjab and we did it again now. When you do that against an ISL team, they will take advantage. We didn’t play much football and tried long footballs. Mailson (Alves) and (Eli) Sabia stopped us well."

The former Bangladesh national team's assistant coach had opined his side were the underdogs going into the game and believed so despite only conceding once.

"I think we had some good chances. But Sunday (Chizoba) was tired after travelling all day yesterday. We were a bit tired. I feel we are missing that bit of quality at this level. We were not cool with the ball. It was very close but I never felt we would win also. (Kervens) Belfort and Sunday have quality. We competed and I am proud of the players but I never felt that we would score."

Furthermore. the 34-year-old opined that his counterpart John Gregory's in-game substitutions could have turned the game in favour of the hosts.

"Maybe the Chennaiyin substitutions had an impact. Chris (Herd) was a bit injured. After the substitutions, they moved the ball well. But we forced them wide and back. We did it well most of the game."

"We took a lot of shots from range because we wanted to atleast test the goalkeeper. Most of the times, we end up dribbling a lot and not taking a shot," he signed off.