We created very clear chances in Second half: Carles Cuadrat

Insight Online News

Kolkata, Mar 11 : East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat was pleased with his side’s second-half performance despite their defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday night.

East Bengal FC squandered an early opportunity to secure a lead when Cleiton Silva’s penalty was denied by Mohun Bagan SG goalkeeper Vishal Kaith.

Capitalising on this miss, the Mariners netted three goals in the first half, courtesy of Jason Cummings, Liston Colaco, and Dimitri Petratos.

Saul Crespo injected a ray of hope for East Bengal FC in the second half by finding the back of the net. Despite a commendable resurgence and persistent threats posed to the Mariners’ defence, the Red & Golds were ultimately hindered by their inability to convert chances.

Cuadrat expressed his belief that the second half could have swung in his team’s favour had they capitalised on their opportunities. However, he commended the team for fighting back admirably from a challenging situation.

“I’m very proud.. of how the players have been going for the game to make a comeback in the second half. I think that they showed what the greater goal means for them because they have been fighting like crazy. I think if we scored the second goal, we would have put them in trouble,” he said.

“We created very clear chances – the heading of Cleiton.. also the penalty to Vishnu, a lot of things which could have been the second goal. Anything could have happened,” Cuadrat said in the post-match press conference.

Silva failed to capitalise on an opportunity to give East Bengal FC the lead by missing a penalty in the first half. Despite this setback, he played a crucial role by providing the assist for Crespo’s goal. In the second half, Silva came close to redeeming himself, but his header from point-blank range was skillfully saved by Kaith.

Cuadrat expressed satisfaction with East Bengal FC’s captain, acknowledging his positive contributions to the game.

However, he emphasised that Silva’s penalty miss, coupled with Lalchungnunga’s injury in the first half, had a psychological impact on the team.

“It happens. Sometimes, when you score the first goal, mentally, the moment helps you get the result. It’s not the first penalty that Cleiton has missed so I think that in general, for the team, it’s that kind of ‘Oh, no. Again!’ situation in the Kolkata Derby. But I’m very happy with the work of Cleiton, his personality and character. So no problem about that missing the penalty. It happens in football. But I think that the mental effect is real, if it’s Cleiton missing the penalty than another player,” the Spaniard said.

He added, “We have to understand that it’s part of football. I think we arrived at half-time in a very difficult mental situation because of the penalty miss, the injury of Nunga..We decided not to do the substitution because we wanted to bring the two youngsters, Vishnu PV and Sayan Mukherjee.”

“You need a tactical plan that they understand well because today we were playing with a different system. But unfortunately, it was only three minutes into extra time and Nandha kumar Sekarbmade that small contact in the box and we gave away the third goal,” Cuadrat added.

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