Defending champions Bengal registered their third consecutive win in Santosh Trophy 2018 by beating Chandigarh 1-0 at the Mohun Bagan ground on Sunday. Bidyasagar Singh netted the only goal for the home side to seal a crucial win.
Bengal came into this match as favourites against Chandigarh who had not won a single match in their last three outings. They were placed at the bottom of the group and were already knocked out of the competition.
But Ranjan Chowdhury's boys failed to replicate their form from the last two matches as they managed to score just once and did not create enough goal scoring opportunities.
Speaking about his team’s performance, Ranjan Chowdhury said, “It may sound like an excuse but we were facing problems with the ground today. Our plans were not properly executed. The surface was uneven which hampered our game plan. Our style is to keep the ball on the ground and play short passes but the boys played long balls. I don’t want to give excuses but the pitch was an important factor in today’s poor performance."
The Mohun Bagan ground indeed looked poor from outside and there was an uneven bounce here and there. It has to be kept in mind that just a few days back, the local Hockey league matches were taking place on the same pitch. This could have damaged the pitch.
“This was our worst performance till date. This is an alarming situation but I am glad that the alarm bells rang at the perfect time. Now we have to work on our mistakes and go ahead in the tournament.”
When asked if the match against Kerala becomes a must-win game for the side as the outcome will decide the final standings, Ranjan suggested, “I have always said that we have to win all games to win the title. Group standings and possible opponents do not matter to me. I want the team to win all the games.”