News & Information From Northeast India

Andrei Ionescu: We believed in our power and our strength

Aizawl FC showcased their fighting spirit and mental toughness against a strong Chennaiyin FC outfit to win the first pre-quarter final of the Hero Super Cup 5-3 on penalties, after being tied at 2-2 post extra-time. Going up twice in the game only to concede two equalisers at crucial junctures, the Aizawl players managed to keep their calm and slotted in all of their spot-kicks to clinch the victory.

At the centre of all this was Aizawl’s attacking midfielder Andrei Ionescu, who scored both their goals and also the first penalty. Here are the excerpts from the Romanian’s interview with after the conclusion of the high-octane match.

What are your thoughts on the match?

I am very happy. I am glad that we succeeded and we played a tough game against a very good team who are the champions of the ISL. We believed in our power and our strength, so today we played a good game.

Tell us about your two goals.

I am very happy that I could help the team. Of course, I am happy for myself that I could score, but the win is the most important thing. So whether I score or someone else does, the win is more important.

How did it feel to concede a last-minute equaliser?

They have a good team, so we were mentally strong. Of course, we were a bit down after they scored, but we still believed that we could win. So, we pressed again and we scored. Mentally we stayed positive and focused. The penalty shootout is like a lottery, but we did it.

Was there any discussion among the players before the penalties?

No, we just decided who is going to take it. Everyone has a responsibility and everyone has the mental strength to take a penalty. Everybody scored, which was a great thing and the keeper also saved one. There was a lot of work put in it. (Super Cup media team)

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