New Delhi, Dec 26 (PTI) Shillong Lajong coach Bobby Lyngdoh Nongbet today complained about tight scheduling of I- League matches after his team’s 0-3 loss against Indian Arrows here.
Nongbet, whose side suffered a 0-3 drubbing at the hands of the Arrows, also felt that the Ambedkar Stadium playing surface was hard which made it difficult for his players to control the ball.
The Arrows, however, produced a fine display of passing football on that pitch.
“We played our previous match on December 23 (at home in Shillong) and we are playing here three days later. There is only two days gap and out of these two days, one is travelling day. It (the schedule) has taken a toll on our team. I hope the AIFF will look into this,” Nongbet said at the post-match press conference.
“The 2pm start is also not ideal. It could have been 4pm or 5:30pm,” he added.
Talking about the match, he said, “The Arrows boys really played very well. We were totally outplayed in the first half.
We press hard and tried to find the equaliser in the second half but the red card (on ) stopped us,” he said.
“The playing pitch also did not help. It was hard and my players had problems in controlling and passing the ball.” Otherwise, the Lajong coach was all praise of the opposition players.
Indian Arrows assistant coach Floyd Pinto said his players gave something extra on the field and that won the match.
“We focused on being organised and that won us the match.
What impressed me that these boys gave their extra on the pitch and that is what led us over the line. We kept the ball very well and we rotated the ball keeping decent possession,” he said.
His substitutions paid rich dividends as both second-half substitutes Nongdamba Naorem and Rahul K P scored within minutes of coming on.
“The substitutes won us the match as even a 1-0 lead over Lajong was not enough,” said Pinto who was standing in as coach in the absence of Luis Norton de Matos.
“Both Rahul and Nongdamba were sharp in the final third and if we had kept dropping back then a 1-0 lead would not have been enough. The substitutes came to the ground and wanted to prove something and they did that,” he said.
Pinto said the “most important thing for the team was to keep the momentum going and continue with the form they have right now”.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.