Mahesh Singh scored a first half brace as SC East Bengal secured their first win of the 2021-22 Indian Super League campaign against FC Goa.
SC East Bengal boss Mario Rivera felt that his side executed the plan perfectly to secure a 2-1 win against FC Goa in the Indian super League (ISL) fixture on Wednesday. It took 16 games and 347 days for East Bengal to break their winless streak in the ISL, thanks to some help from FC Goa at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. Mahesh Singh opened the scoring for SCEB early in the match before Alberto Noguera equalised for FC Goa. However, three minutes before the break, Mahesh got his second of the night to secure three points for East Bengal which will take them to 10th spot above North East United FC in the points table.
Since the start of the seventh edition of the ISL, SCEB have been rooted to the bottom of the table. They have seen three coaches now, and Rivera started his new challenge with a win against the Gaurs.
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The Spanish coach addressed the media during the post-match press conference and said: “It’s an amazing moment because the team was fighting for this moment for 11 matches and we got it. And the mood now is very good, the team is happy, the players are excited and they are enjoying this moment.”
SCEB restored to a counter-attacking strategy because of their limitations and the team from Kolkata executed their plan to perfection. They sat back and defended and tried to hit Goa on the counter. SCEB capitalised on Goa’s defensive errors.
Inside the opening 10 minutes, Edu Bedia failed to control a heavy back pass and Mahesh pounced on the opportunity to put SCEB in front. Although Noguera elveled the score with a brilliant strike in the 37th minute, another defensive error handed the advantage to SCEB.
Anwar Ali played a poor pass which found Mahesh on the edge of the box and the 22-year-old’s effort struck the crossbar and bounced back to make the score 2-1. SCEB defended pretty well to hold on to the slender lead and take all three points against the former champions.
Rivero added “We used our weapons for this match. We didn’t have too many players and we didn’t have many chances. And we had to wait for our moment to defend well. Well, with this attitude of the players that they can defend at this high level.
“ And we knew that they would make some mistakes and if we took advantage of their mistakes, we could win the match, and that happened. It’s very nice, because when you plan and everything happens according to plan, it is really nice for the coach.”
SCEB will next face hyderabad FC on Monday while FC Goa will take on Bengaluru FC on Sunday.