Bengaluru FC beat NorthEast United FC 2-1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday evening to reclaim their top position in the league table.
Juanan handed Bengaluru FC the lead but Marcinho equalised from a penalty at the stroke of halftime. Captain Sunil Chhetri scored the winning goal for the Blues to seal the fate of the match.
NorthEast United coach Avram Grant was not unhappy with his side’s performance tonight and rather praised his boys for their dominating performance in the first half of the game.
Grant said, “We did start the game well, the other team had only one chance in the first half and they scored from a set piece but we came back and equalised. In the second half, they played better. One mistake from our player and we lost the game. I think the fair result would have been a draw and no team deserved to win. Football is about scoring goals and winning.”
The former Portsmouth manager further added, “In football, there are a lot of ways to score goals. You can score from set pieces; you can score from team combination. Bengaluru are a good team but we stopped them to just one chance in the first half. We created chances but our final passes were not good. They scored from a set piece. This game did not create many chances. In football winning matters, does not matter how.”
Spanish defender Juanan converted an inch-perfect header from Edu Garcia’s free-kick to break the deadlock. On conceding the first goal, Grant opined, “We knew that Bengaluru FC score lot of goals from set pieces. We were prepared for this but sometimes this happens. The player (Juanan) is a tall player. He did well and the delivery was good. We didn’t mark properly.”
Speaking of their opponents, the NorthEast United boss suggested that even though Bengaluru FC are a good side and they played well, credit must be given to his boys for stopping the table toppers from creating any major threat in the first half.
“It was difficult for both sides today. They did give a lot of effort but it was difficult for them to create chances. We know they have very good forwards. As we saw in the game they got one chance. I think we did a good job in stopping them. We created chances from the flanks but did not score. Generally, they are a good team,” said Grant
Before concluding the post-match press conference, Grant mentioned that he is happy with NorthEast’s progress since he took over as the club’s technical advisor. He said, “I think we have improved a lot. We won two out of four games. The two matches we lost, we didn’t play badly just that the other team was better than us. We need to improve a lot of things but generally, the team is doing well.”