‘Early misses almost cost us’ concedes Callisto (12/04/2011)

Bangkok: Muang Thong coach Henrique Callisto admitted his side's lack of cutting edge in front of goal nearly cost them all three points against Victory SC.

The hosts squandered a hatful of chances – including seeing Teerasil Dangda miss a penalty in the second half - but finally broke down the visitors’ defence in the 90th minute to move two points clear at the top of Group G in the AFC Cup and boost their hopes of a home tie in the last 16.

Teerasil made amends for his earlier miss when he fired home from close range following Amorn Thummanam's backheel.

“I said to my players before the game, you can only say games are easy when they are finished,” said Callisto.

“It was a difficult game because we made problems for ourselves early. When we didn’t score early, the opposition become more confident.

“We put pressure on ourselves. We wasted many goal opportunities and also one penalty, which was a big chance. And I think we were a little bit lucky in the last minute.

“Before we won, I never said we would definitely win. I said to my team to pay attention, and that if we want to win we must work so hard.

“Today was not a problem of physicality, we lost a lot of opportunities. Sometimes it happens that even if you play well, you never score.

“The weather in Maldives is good for them, OK , we will face such difficulties. But if they want to win they must attack more, rather than just defend all game.

“Today, the players worked hard, ran so many kilometres non-stop. Our target now is recuperation because the players have played a lot this month already.

“Our ambition is to finish top of the group. If we finish top we play the second placed team of the other group, and we play at home – an advantage.”

For Victory SC coach Ali Suzain, the result was a demonstration of how far Maldives football has come over the last 20 years or so.

“Twenty-four years ago, in 1987, we lost to Bangkok Bank at home. The score was 7-0. Now, after 24 years, I hoped we wouldn’t lose in a similar way, and we didn’t. I am proud of my boys for that,” he said.

“Muang Thong played a great game, persisting well. In the last minute they scored, but I think they deserve a win in today’s game.”

Suzain also hopes home advantage can work in Victory's favour when they host the Thais in two weeks' time.

“At home we will play during the day, so it will be very hot, not like Bangkok, so we might take an advantage from that,” he added.

“Maybe we can win something at home because the weather is different, and we are very used to it. And with both strikers back in the team we can do something better.”

Source : http://www.the-afc.com/en/tournaments/clubs/afc-cup/34300-muang-thong-v-victory-reaction