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ISL 2019-20: John Gregory - The scoreline flatters FC Goa

19:14 BST 23/10/2019
FC Goa vs Chennaiyin
The Chennaiyin FC boss believes his team managed to contain Goa in the first half but were punished for their mistakes...

Chennaiyin FC endured a harsh start to their 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL) campaign after being dominated by FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium.

Having finished at the bottom of the table last season, John Gregory’s side picked up where they left off and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat.

Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory felt that the scoreline flattered Goa and they were not threatening, despite all the possession.

He said, “Three mistakes – I think we made three errors in front of our goal and gifted three goals to the opposition. Consequently, we also missed some chances ourselves. I think the scoreline flattered Goa a little bit.

“They had a lot of possession, but most of it was in their own half. I think we dominated the play in the second half. We were in their half a lot more than they were in ours. But we gave away two bad goals in the second half and it cost us dearly,” he said.

The tie was not free of controversies, with Dragos Firtulescu being brought down in the box by Goa defender Seriton Fernandes in the first half. Gregory believes that the decision to not award what he felt was a clear penalty changed the game.

“I have had the opportunity to see it again and again and it is a penalty again and again. I think the referee made a huge mistake in not awarding us the penalty. It changed the game,” he said.

“We knew that maybe (Hugo) Boumous might be missing the game but we did not know about (Edu) Bedia until the teams were announced. We knew that (Ahmed) Jahouh was suspended. So they had to change a bit. The national coach was here to see it. Hopefully, they (Brandon and Manvir Singh) have done themselves well."

The Englishman claimed that his team will take time to settle down and find the balance. The defeat provided him with some insight on the new signings and he will be looking for improved performances in the next match.

“This Goa team has been together for a long time. We are just getting used to one another. I have had just over six weeks to see what they can and can’t do, try and get the right balance. It’s not always that easy. I learned a few more things about my players tonight. We look forward to playing Mumbai in our next match,” he concluded.