Manama, Apr 17: After a morale boosting win against table-toppers Muharraq in their AFC Cup Group A match, delighted Dempo coach Mauricio Afonso said he was delighted to see his side outplay the Bahraini side. ''I'm extremely happy with the result as we defeated the best team in the group,'' Afonso said.
''I'm glad that our players followed the plan as instructed. That was the main reason for our win,'' he added. I-League champions Dempo defeated Muharraq 2-1 here yesterday with two goals by Nigerian striker Ranty Martins. Dempo, who had lost the home match to Muharraq 0-4, were propelled to the second spot in the group following the win. ''The win today revived our own chances of competing in this group but we will have to win our next matches and see how the other games turn out,'' Afonso said.
The Dempo coach heaped praise on his defenders who put up a sterling display.
''I said before that we would play with a defensive formation as Muharraq have good players and they had several chances to score but our solid defence denied them a chance to get back into the game,'' he remarked.
Muharraq coach Salman Sharida blamed bad luck for his team's defeat.
''We were unlucky today as we were the better side for the entire match but we didn't take advantage of the numerous chances that we had,'' Sharida lamented. ''In important matches, it is useless to control proceedings and enjoy good pressure because the most important thing at the end is to get the three points and today was not our day.'' Sharida was impressed by Dempo goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal, calling him ''the best player in the game''.
''The best player in the game was the Dempo goalkeeper who stopped several chances and prevented us from scoring,'' he quipped.