Chennaiyin FC managed to earn a point against NorthEast United FC thanks to an injury time equalizer from substitute Lallianzuala Chhangte.
The visitors took the lead through Masih Saighani before NorthEast made it 1-1 through a Martin Chaves penalty which saw Tondonba Singh being given his marching orders. Chaves put the home side ahead before Chhangte netted late in the tie.
“In the first 15 minutes, the young lads coming into the game were a bit anxious. It took us 15 minutes to settle down and then once we were settled, we started to pass the ball on a difficult pitch. We got a wonderful goal and the 1-0 lead felt very comfortable. Then the biggest turning point in the game was the penalty decision. I have not seen back but my initial thought was it was clipped outside the box. It was 1-1 at half time with 10 men down,” said Owen Coyle.
“In the second half, we got a good shape. I don’t think Karanjit (Singh) had to make any particular saves today. They had the man advantage and obviously a little bit more of the ball. But I got to say Martin (Chaves) scored a wonderful goal. Even as an opposition coach I have to say it was an outstanding goal. But the spirit we had, we were never ever out of the game. We made some substitution, we pushed people forward to get the equaliser and we fully deserved this,” he mentioned.
Coyle was also asked to share his opinion on NorthEast United’s players and he, in particular, praised the former Indian Arrows winger Ninthoiganba Meetei.
“They played a lot of young players today. Chaves got the two goals. He scored a penalty and then scored that volley. He must have thought that the goal would have won the game. I saw some good Indian players in their team. I liked Ninthoiganba Meetei. He played in the last four or five games. Good luck to them,” signed off the former Bolton manager.