NorthEast United spoilt ATK Mohun Bagan's party as the first leg of the second semi-final ended in a 1-1 draw at the GMC Stadium Bambolim.
The Kolkata giants were defensively adept after they broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through a David Williams strike. The Highlanders, however, snatched a point and Idrissa Sylla netted the equalizer in injury time.
NorthEast United head coach Khalid Jamil was satisfied with the result and he mentioned that it was a vital point for his side ahead of the return leg.
What Jamil said
"We are thinking about the next game. It is a vital point. We came back strongly because our players worked very hard. Britto, Sylla, Machado and even Gallego (did well) so we are happy to equalize," Jamil said after the game.
"You can say it's a vital point after trailing 1-0 in the first half. ATK Mohun Bagan are good defensively. It is not easy to break them. But we scored and that's why we are very happy," he added.
"We see the availability of players, so according to that, we will put the players," the coach responded to a question aboutt starting with Deshorn Brown in the second leg.
Sylla is a quality striker
"Sylla is a very matured player. He is very calm. Never takes any pressure and he has patience. That's why he came in today and scored. He never asks why I am not playing. He's here for the team. He's worked hard and he is one of the quality strikers we have," Jamil Said.
"We are not thinking about early goals. We are thinking about keeping our concentration high in 90 minutes. Just go with the flow. That's our main target. Ashutosh (Mehta) is an important player that's why he is in the Indian team. I made him play right half, marking, going inside. Second-half he played in his original position.
"The second leg is important. We have to be strong from start to end."