Panaji (Goa) [India], February 22 (ANI): Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli was delighted with his side's gritty performance to win 2-1 against top-four rivals Odisha FC at the Athletic Stadium.
Odisha FC got an early lead following a goal by Nandhakumar Sekar. However, Danish Farooq equalized the score for the Blues in the 31st minute. Soon after the resumption of play in the second half, Cleiton Silva converted a penalty to give BFC the lead and in the end, it sealed the victory in their favour.
"All the players that we have in our group can be the first choice and I believe in my players. In training, everybody is very good and everybody who is coming inside is the first choice. And why I did it today, we played three days ago and I wanted to have some fresh legs in the team. Against Hyderabad Udanta was out, in the last game we had Prince out and today we have Sunil out. We have good strikers on the bench but to refresh legs for the season of injury and Yaya had the first game after almost three months break and I didn't want to have a muscle injury," said Marco Pezzaiuoli in a post-match press conference, as per the ISL website.
"Usually, I protect players and that's why when the game is three days later I think it's enough to play thirty minutes and lower the risk of getting an injury. That's why I made this decision," he added.
The head coach further praised Sarthak Golui for his determination towards the game even after going through a personal loss.
"I'm happy for him because it's not easy when you have parents passed. He had our support. But in the end, it is him alone with his mother. And of course, he had a lot of energy you wanted to play earlier. But he was almost two months out and I tried to keep him patient, enjoy life, enjoy football, enjoy the training," said the head coach.
"And I think also the team give him a lot of support and also the staff members around and he felt well and as he deserved to play, to get minutes and that's why I'm happy for him," he added.
This result takes the blues to within a point of fourth-placed Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) table. (ANI)