Resilient Abahani make Lemos proud?
Dhaka: Head coach Mario Lemos was all praise for Abahani Dhaka Limited after the Bangladesh club secured a 4-3 win over 4.25 SC in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-final on Wednesday.
It was a match which saw the lead being exchanged before Abahani looked to have secured a comfortable 4-2 win only for 4.25 to pull one back ahead of the return leg in Pyongyang next week
“It was a good match, although, not so good for my heart. It was full of ups and downs.
"When we started the match, our game plan was slightly different. We put more men at the back and put Sunday (Nwadialu) and (Kervens) Belfort upfront for the counter-attack, something that they did well.”
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Lemos conceded that the tactic resulted in 4.25 scoring more goals than he anticipated.
“Yes, at times, we did allow them too much space by defending too deep. But I’m still happy with the result considering all the injuries and the setbacks that we had faced before the game," said the Portuguese.
"The boys fought hard and scored four goals against a team that had conceded just two goals in their six (group) games. It's a big achievement. Of course, we wanted to concede less.
"With the score 4-3, we realise that the game is still open for 4.25 SC. But congratulations to my players who did everything that I asked. It's a big win for us and big win for Bangladeshi football.”
Chizoba, who scored two goals in four second half minutes, revealed that Abahani were in a difficult position before the seven-goal thriller.
“We worked really hard to get this victory," said Chizoba. "We missed the services of some players but I’m really proud that we could get this victory without them. I'm happy that Alaaeldin (Nasr Elmagraby Eissa, suspended) is coming back to the team for the away fixture."
With the return leg to be played on artificial turf, Lemos acknowledged that it will be a challenge for his team.
“Adjusting to artificial turf will be difficult, of course. We will train on artificial turf and try to adapt as soon as we can, but the good part is that we have a one-goal advantage and we won't need to attack that much in DPR Korea,” Lemos pointed out.
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