New York City Football Club Head Coach Ronny Deila is pleased to advance to the semifinals after a testing night in the Concacaf Champions League.
The Boys in Blue suffered a disappointing 4-2 defeat on Tuesday night during the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League tie against Comunicaciones of Guatemala. That result produced a 5-5 aggregate scoreline that ultimately saw NYCFC advance on away goals. Speaking afterward, Deila revealed he was pleased to advance on a night when his side learned an important lesson.
“We scored our two goals and that was fantastic - two good performers in Taty [Castellanos] and Talles [Magno],” Deila said. “We had the game in our hands but we looked very tired at the end of the game. Every time they put the ball in the box, they looked dangerous so we're happy to get through. It’s the morale in this team that is fantastic.
"They love to win and go through and we’ve done it again. Of course we wanted to do it a little bit differently in the last 30 minutes but we have to really credit them. I think they were good on set plays - fantastic deliveries - and they are strong in the air so they caused us problems. We gave them too many set plays, but the most important thing is that we are through and we are looking forward to semifinal.”
Deila also made the decision to introduce a quadruple substitution midway through the second half before using his fifth and final change during injury time. Explaining his decision after the game, the Norwegian stressed the need to rotate his players as they prepare for a return to MLS action on Saturday.
“I think we need to give Taty, Maxi, Alfredo, Malte, some rest as well,” he said “I think it was the time to do it, we were 2-1 up, and they had to score four goals. It ended well but at the same time we didn’t want to have that last half hour. At the same time, as I said to the players it’s a fantastic learning experience.
"To travel and come to these kinds of places where the grass is long and sticky, no water on the pitch, and you have to fight. You have to get out of your shell. You can’t hide because then you’re in trouble. That’s what we did in the end we got scared. You have to be more brave in these kinds of situations but it was a young team and I’m very happy we received that kind of experience without any consequences.”