East Bengal pipped Aizawl FC 1-0 in the quarterfinal of the ongoing Super Cup on Sunday at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. Laldanmawia Ralte converted a 95th-minute penalty to hand his side a vital win.
Substitute Ansumana Kromah was brought down by Aizawl goalkeeper Lalawmpuia inside the box just a minute before the final whistle. The referee had absolutely no doubts in his mind while pointing towards the penalty spot.
East Bengal head coach Khalid Jamil was satisfied with his boys' performance and was pleased to have made it to the semifinal of the competition. On the match, he opined, "Feeling good we have gone into the next stage, it was vital. I have told this earlier, just one mistake can cost you.
"Our concentration and discipline were good and we tried until the last minute. We started off well, we dictated the game and had more ball possession. If we had scored an early goal, we could have seen more goals today but everybody tried. I'm feeling ecstatic. This was the best way to win the game. On top of that, Danmawia (Laldanmawia Ralte) scored. He's my favourite player."
On asked Ralte took the spot-kick instead of more experienced players like Mahmoud Al Amna and Katsumi Yusa, Jamil replied, "We had already decided that he is going to take it. Last time, we missed a penalty. This time Al-Amna was not taking it so I was okay with him going for it. He is good and he was there with me last year (in Aizawl FC) and he was the best option."
The coach wholeheartedly praised club's newly appointed technical director Subhas Bhowmick and also acknowledged his contributions. "Subash Da is an experienced man, which is benefitting us. He works hard and his inputs are valuable. No doubt, Subash Da plays a major role, I give him respect."
Dudu Omagbemi missed two golden opportunities which could have cost East Bengal the game. On the missed chances and Dudu's performance, the Red and Golds coach said, "Sometimes, you miss sometimes you score, this happens in football. In this tournament, we had to win this match, and we did, that's it. We have time to think about our next match. He (Dudu) is an experienced man. It happens. He will fight and make a strong comeback."
Santosh Kashyap was not at all disappointed after his side crashed out of Super Cup. He felt that if his team had taken their chances then, the result could have been something different.
"I feel nothing went wrong. I am proud of my players. We had a match not too long ago (in the AFC Cup), had to travel and we came back and put our best team. We did excellent I believe. If we had got the chances, we could have finished that, like Andrei (Ionescu) in the last minute. Both teams decided to go all out. But they are definitely are a good side. We did not play a defensive game. We were attacking and pressed," said Kashyap.
Although the gaffer accepted that the penalty decision was correct, the former Mumbai FC coach stressed that he is content with his teams' performance and blamed inexperience for the result.
He also went on to state that East Bengal was 'lucky' to get a positive result. "In the end, experience counts. The young defenders and goalkeeper made the mistake. It was his (Lalawmpuia) second game of the season. They will learn from these mistakes, they tried and now we have to give our best for the AFC Cup matches.
"I am overall happy with how the domestic season panned out after I took charge. One reason for this was the inexperience. We have very young Indian players. I took the team out of the relegation zone and we finished sixth and a quarter-final achievement in the Super Cup is great. I am upset today because the match was very close but East Bengal was very lucky I believe," expressed Kashyap.