Dynamos coach defends players, says his side played better
New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos, Sunday slumped to their fourth loss in the ISL after their 0-1 defeat in the hands of Kerala Blasters but their head coach Harm Van Veldhoven feels that his side played better in the match.
Kerala scored through Penn Orji in the 61st minute to condemn Delhi to their fourth loss in five matches.
"In the first 60 minutes, we were the better side and we could have scored. We were unlucky to lose the ball (that led to the goal) due to momentary lapse of concentration. The players reacted well after that also," he said at the post-match press conference.
"It was of course disappointing to the lose the match, we thought we deserved a better result from today's match," said a grim looking Van Veldhoven.
The Dutchmen, however, refused to throw in the towel and said that his side were still in contention for a semifinal berth.
"We have five more matches to go and we hope we will be able to take our chances in these matches. In the beginning of our campaign, we might have taken things a bit easier. But it happens in football. We will move on and now train for the next match," he added.
Captain Alessandro del Peiro, who played his best match of the tournament but still failed to score a goal, also said that his side could still make to last-four stage.
"It is really disappointing to lose today. But we played better today after a very bad match (against FC Goa on Thursday) and so we reacted very well. Today's game was up and down and we could have scored also to take the lead," he said.
"We now have eight days before our next match and we will analyse what went wrong, train hard and prepare ourselves for the next matches. We have five more matches to go and with the teams not much separated on points, we still can make the last four," said the Italian legend.
Kerala captain-cum-manager David James said that Penn Orji's substitution in the 56th minute was a masterstroke.
Orji scored five minutes after taking the field.
"Orji's substitution was made at a perfect time. He is an impact player and it changed the game. We had come here to win and we did that," he said.
"We have five more matches to go but we would want to go through to the semifinals in three," said the former England goalkeeper.