The Chennaiyin FC head coach was buoyed by the performance of the team against Mumbai City FC as
the team sealed their spot in the top four.
Chennaiyin FC defeated hosts Mumbai City FC by 1-0 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday.
The lone goal of the night came from none other than ex-Mumbai City defender Lucian Goian who
headed the ball home in 83rd minute of the match to send his former team out of the top four
Head Coach Owen Coyle who replaced John Gregory mid-season amidst a difficult situation yet managed
to make his side qualify to the playoffs did not shy from expressing his pleasure at the press conference,
"We obviously set out to win the game, that was our intention from the start. The first 15 minutes, we
controlled the game. We were a threat. Credit to Mumbai that they came back in the match. They have
four good foreign players up top and they can create problems. I think, during that phase we got a bit
caught up in the occasion. That being said, we were always in control.”
"In the second half, Lallianzuala Chhangte was through on goal but was brought down by Sourav Das. I
think it was a clear red card. From that point on, we were in control. Mumbai is always dangerous at
home, even with ten men and we had to make sure we could make the extra man count. We could have
done it better but we scored and am delighted at the way Lucian Goian kept his composure to score as
anyone would be nervous in these types of situations. We could have scored a second too,” he added.
Coyle did not back away from admitting that Mumbai was a tough opponent to face, “Jorge Costa is a
wonderful coach and Mumbai have some very good players, a great set up, an organization. They have a
great spirit, great discipline. They kept going. It’s satisfying to keep a clean sheet in Mumbai as not many
teams manage that. But we certainly were deserved winners and earned the right to be in the top four.
Now that we are here, we certainly hope we can see it through.”
Te Irish coach revealed that some of the players suffered from food poisoning coming into the crucial
fixture, “We weren’t as fluid as we have been lately, but I have to credit the players for the way they
stepped up. Four players, including Nerijus Valskis, had food poisoning last night. We showed real
character, mental strength, desire tonight. We can still improve but this team has great qualities.”
Speaking about potential semi-final opponents, Coyle noted, “If you see the top four teams, they are all
very good. But we are here, too, on merit. We will play against whichever team we have to, be it FC Goa,
ATK FC or Bengaluru. These will certainly be interesting games.”