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Mkhitaryan: I cannot always lead national team, boys have to take responsibility too

Henrikh Mkhitaryan vs Kazakhstan

Armenian national team captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the star against Kazakhstan as he not only made the opponent receive a red card but also scored the first goal of his country minutes later. The Manchester United man was happy with the victory and shared his feelings in the mixed zone after the match.

Congratulations on winning today’s game. Armenian national team gradually add points to their account. What’s your opinion about the match?

I think we played well in the first half, but we couldn’t score a goal. In the second half, it was the opposite, we weren’t playing as good as we wanted, we were not pushing hard until the first goal. However, we managed to score the opened which was the most important thing, and after that, the game was in our hands and we successfully finished it with a victory.

The stadium was almost packed today. How did it feel to play for so many fans?

It’s always a pleasure to see so many spectators in the stadium but I would like to see even more fans here. We are playing for fans and are doing everything possible to make them happy.

Did Gevorg Ghazaryan’s injury change your game plans?

I wouldn’t say that his injury changed our plans a lot as he was subbed off in the first minute. Tigran Barseghyan replaced him and played a good match, he was very energetic, tried to help the team with his decisions. Nevertheless, the most important thing, for now, is Gevorg’s health, I wish him a speedy recovery, and I think that it’s more important than today’s victory.

In the second half, you made the opposition defender make a foul and get sent off and then scored the opener. Can we say that you’re in your best physical shape and can lead the national team like today in every game?

I don’t usually assess my shape, it’s up to journalists. I am trying to help the national team as much as I can. Sometimes I play well, sometimes bad matches happen, but I cannot always lead the national team. The boys have to take the responsibility and replace me when it’s necessary.

Today you became the first player to score 20 goals for the Armenian national team. What are your feelings?

I am very happy. It always makes you happy when you score goals for your national team. If I’m not mistaken, I scored my last international goal three years ago against Denmark. However, the most important thing now is that we managed to win and take three points today.

In the second game in a row, the team scores goals in the second half, but fails to make a scoresheet in the first part of the game. So what’s the problem with the poor realization in the first 45 minutes?

It’s football and things like this happen, we never plan to score goals in the second half only. The important thing is that we believed in our victory till the end and did what the coach asked for.

What was the atmosphere in the dressing room after the match?

The team was happy but I wouldn’t say that we were super happy. Everyone was very tired, we earned a hard victory. It was hard not only in terms of physics but also in terms of mentality, as we had to be very careful in defense and attack a lot. Now the job is done and the boys will return to their clubs in good mood.