FC Pune City led for 73 minutes at Kochi against Kerala Blasters before Mark Sifneos’ goal earned the home side a point. Despite squandering two points, FC Pune assistant coach Vladica Grujic was satisfied with the result.
“We won a point. When you look at the first half, we could have killed the game. But this is football. The second half was good to see as we won a point and we are satisfied,” he said at the post-match press conference.
With the draw, The Stallions have moved into pole position in the Indian Super League (ISL) table. The Serbian attributed the second half performance to a resurgent Blasters side instead of blaming tiredness in his players.
“Sometimes we want to end 90 minutes at 1-0 or continue the same performance (from the first half). The opponents showed big spirit in the second half,” he stated.
Kerala star-man Dimitar Berbatov had a quiet game before being taken off at the half-way mark.
Grujic pointed out that there was no conscious plan on the visitors’ side to man-mark the likes of Berbatov and Wes Brown. He instead credited his men’s compact pressing style for Berbatov’s ineffectiveness.
“Berbatov and Brown are big players. You cannot put one man to play against Berbatov. We had teamwork, the team worked together. I did not see him do big things in the second half,” he explained.
“When we stay compact, put pressure, nobody can play,” Grujic added before signing off.