Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri was once more captain fantastic on a Wednesday night, where he not only scored two crucial goals, but he was instrumental in leading his team by example.
He later sat down with the Bengaluru FC Media Team to speak about his side’s progress to the final of the 2016 AFC Cup.
On entering the final of the AFC Cup…
As a team we went out and tried to win a football game. Now we’re taking one game on and it’s the final. We had a great chance to beat Johor over two legs and it wasn’t easy. They are the defending champions and we’ve done it. Now we’re going to the next stage, we’ll prepare for it and we’ll do our best.
On his substitution late in the game…
I was suffering from cramps and I spoke to the coach by the touchline. I am a marker as well and it becomes difficult to jump for a header when you have cramps. I had to come off and it was more sensible to send someone out who was more able. There was a point where I couldn’t take it anymore so it was the right decision.
His thoughts on the performance and his team…
At Bengaluru FC, we are quite spoilt for keeping our foot forward and succeeding. To be honest, I expected my team to be like this. From the Head Coach, to Carlos, the assistant coach, the goalkeeping coach, the whole staff in between all the way to the ball boys who sit by the pitch, everyone puts a lot of hard work on match-days and the preparation.
I wasn’t shocked with the way we played. Sometimes you don’t succeed even when you’re playing well. Thankfully we got the goal at the right time. We went a goal down and that’s when the team showed character, and when I say team I do not mean the 11 on the pitch or the 18 in the squad.
I’m also talking about all the fans that came out on the night. If not for them, we would not have reacted the way we did. You always want to respond as soon as you concede. But if the fans weren’t there, it would not have been the same.
The best part about this team is that every single person wants to work hard and that is what makes us good. We are a team where each and every one; right from Mr. Sajjan Jindal to the Head Coach to the players, all the way to the ball boys everybody wants to work hard and improve. We don’t know what we are going to achieve tomorrow, but one thing is for sure that we are going to work hard and push ourselves.
His reaction to the win…
I am really happy with the win. The whole team is very happy. We dominated them throughout and we are learning so much every day.
From the first day when he (Albert Roca) came in, he had the belief. His system was different from what we were used to, but he maintained that if we believe and continue to do our best, the results would come in. We understand that if we don’t follow what the coach says, we won’t succeed.
On opponents JDT and his goals against them…
JDT are a great team. They fought really hard in front of their fans in Malaysia but we completely dominated them yesterday. There is no two ways about it. Goals will always come; the important thing is to keep trying. There was a chance in the second half where Vineeth played me through; in training I would score those eight times out of ten but I somehow missed it by quite a bit during the match. These things happen and the most important part is to keep trying.
Scoring three goals against JDT doesn’t mean we’ll score three goals in every game. As a player, I would love to score two goals in every game but it doesn’t happen. What’s important is to keep trying and we will continue to do so.
(Bengaluru FC Press Release)