Salgaocar FC produced a commanding display at the Kalyani Stadium as they downed East Bengal 3-2. Karma Tsewang and Francis Fernandes gave the Goan outfit an early lead of two goals. At the hour mark, Clifton Dias scored another to make it 3-0 before James Moga pulled one back four minutes later. Seimenlen Doungel had an impact on the proceedings as he scored one in the 77th minute.
Derrick Pereira acknowledged that he was concerned after East Bengal pulled one back through James Moga despite his side leading by two goals at that point in the game.
“The first two goals gave us a good early lead and then we tried to retain. I was a bit worried when they scored one back, but it was great to win all three points at the end of the day,” he said.
Having faced three Kolkata teams in a week or so, Derrick had a fair understanding of the strengths of Mohun Bagan, United Sports Club and East Bengal. They had also defeated Mohammedan Sporting earlier in the season.
"I have played against three Kolkata sides now. Mohun Bagan will look dangerous with Odafa Okolie, while East Bengal have a number of great players as well. And we played Bagan in Salt Lake and East Bengal in Kalyani. It will not be ideal to compare the sides,” he expressed.
Derrick substituted Duffy in the final quarter of the game and explained the reasoning behind the decision.
"Duffy has a strain in hamstring, while [Claude] Gnakpa has also suffered a knock in the shoulder. I took Duffy off since we have to think about the whole season,” he said.
"We have played four away matches now. I will say we are improving and will try to carry this form,” he added.
James Moga was blamed by a section of East Bengal supporters in the aftermath of the defeat however Derrick showed faith in his former ward from Pune FC.
"I coached Moga in the last season and he did a lot of good to our side. He is a very good striker and will certainly score many goals in this season as well. The pressure here may have worked against him."
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