The NorthEast United boss was impressed by Apuia’s streak against the Kerala Blasters
NorthEast United secured a place in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs with a 2-0 win against Kerala Blasters in their last match at the league stage.
The win saw the Highlanders have 33 points from 20 matches, meaning they could finish at least fourth after Hyderabad play their game against FC Goa on Sunday.
Northeast interim coach Khalid Jamil praised his players for their performance and refused to take credit for the turnaround that has seen them go eight games unbeaten.
“I didn’t think about (the playoffs). The players deserved this, we got this result because of the players, it must be 100 percent,” he said.
“The players are working very hard. I don’t have to tell them anything. On the pitch, they (do the job). They help each other. For example today, Federico Gallego is not 100 per cent fit, so Imran Khan came on for him. So there was a change. Because of their knowledge we got this result. There is pressure (in the playoffs) but we have to enjoy the pressure. “
“He (Gallego) is not fit, he trained just one day before the match. We chose to use him for the last 30 minutes. It was good for us that he came back.”
VP Suhair broke the deadlock before Lalengmawia unleashed a sublime effort at goal from outside the box to double his side’s lead. Jamil paid tribute to the two goalscorers after the match.
“It was an extraordinary goal. I don’t need to say anything, it was an extraordinary goal and he is a talented player, one of the best players we have in India.”
“Suhair works for the team, that’s why he’s always at XI. He’s a very nice and humble person. He has that quality.”