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Team Hyderabad FC (Photo: Twitter/Hyderabad FC)
Team Hyderabad FC (Photo: Twitter/Hyderabad FC)

Very happy as we qualify for semi-finals for first time: Hyderabad FC's Manuel Marquez

ANI | Updated: Feb 24, 2022 13:21 IST

Panaji (Goa) [India], February 24 (ANI): Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez was pleased with his team's performance as they secured a semi-final spot after defeating Kerala Blasters FC 2-1 in Match 99 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Wednesday.
Hyderabad FC created history as they qualified for the ISL semi-finals for the first time in their history, thanks to Bartholomew Ogbeche and Javier Siverio's strikes. Vincy Barreto scored the consolation goal for Kerala Blasters FC in the end, however, went in vain.
"We are very happy. First of all, if you allow me, I want to dedicate this semi-final qualification to all the players and members of the staff. We couldn't qualify last season when we deserved it. The second thing is that people in Indian football should know that the coach of Kerala Blasters entered our room to congratulate our team for qualifying. This is the level of the coaches that ISL needs personally," said Manuel Marquez in a post-match press conference, as per the ISL website.

"The first goal was to arrive in the top-four. Now, we have to play two games. We have to try to win both. If we win against Jamshedpur FC then we can surpass them but it will depend on ATK Mohun Bagan's match outcome. But now we are happy, we will celebrate tonight in the hotel. After this, we will think about the next game because if you are in this situation you have to keep going," he added.
The head coach further said that he is pleased with the previous match result but the last-minute goal could have been avoided.
"We are very happy this is the first time in the history of Hyderabad FC that we have qualified for the playoffs. But it's true that in the last few games we could have played better. Today more or less we controlled the game but in some moments Kerala Blasters created clear chances. Yes, you can always avoid one goal at the last minute," said the head coach.
With this win, Hyderabad FC further consolidated its position at the top of the table with 35 points, while Kerala Blasters FC stays in fifth place with 27 points from 17 outings. (ANI)