East Bengal began their 2019-20 season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Army Red in the opening match of the Durand Cup 2019 at the East Bengal ground.
The Red and Golds kept it late to seal the fate of the match as Jaime Santos Colado and Vidyasagar Singh were on target. Speaking about the team's performance, head coach Alejandro Menendez said, "I think we played a good game. We will keep improving. In the second half, we played better and we made them tired. We kept control of the game and the goals are the result of that.
"The players performed well. We created chances. They ran throughout the match. We are happy with the performance."
The Spanish coach refused to blame the pitch condition and suggested that they have to adjust to every possible condition. "The ground is so-so. The ground is a bit hard. We are still adjusting and continuing with our pre-season. Even with the hard ground, we have to do well. The situation of the ground should not affect."
Alejandro once again stressed on the fact that he is treating the Durand Cup and the Calcutta Football League (CFL) as preparation for the bigger stage that is the I-League.
He said, "For us, the pre-season friendly games started today. This is our preparation for the bigger tournaments. We set up the team now so that we can do well in I-League.
"We are in pre-season and we are playing these tournaments. At this stage, we are training and playing matches. We have to get our players to perform at peak moments. It is not possible to do it in a few days. This is a progressive process. There is no professional league ever."
The Red and Golds play their next match in the Durand Cup on August 6 against Jamshedpur FC. They begin their campaign in the CFL on August 9.