Bengaluru FC suffered their second defeat against East Bengal this season.

Bengaluru FC slumped to a demoralizing defeat against East Bengal. Former Blue Cleiton Silva’s first-half penalty and stoppage time free-kick further dented BFC’s playoff hopes. East Bengal soared to their first win at home, aided by Ivan Gonzalez’s resolute defence. After his eighth league defeat, this is what Simon Grayson had to say.

Losing at the last minute

It was the familiar tale of BFC dominating proceedings but seeing the result and points slip away dramatically. Cleiton Silva beat a full-stretch Gurpreet after Danish Farooq conceded a late free-kick. Grayson believes a draw at least was deserved from this game, “Obviously losing in the last minute in that fashion is heartbreaking and frustrating. After we had dominated the game in the first half and also got the equalizer. We were pushing to get the winner, but a moment of brilliance from Cleiton who put his free-kick in the top corner won the game for East Bengal. The least we deserved was a draw. It is how this season has been for us, we get punished for mistakes or through fantastic strikes from the opposition. We don’t get breaks our way in the six-yard box. You can’t ask any more of the players, they worked extremely hard.”

Individual brilliance was the difference maker

East Bengal and Cleiton scored their opener from the spot after a harsh handball call. Roshan slid in to tackle but VP Suhair was alert enough to kick the ball towards the Bengaluru defender’s hands. Grayson believes his team lost this one through individual brilliance, “We lost to individual brilliance. I have not seen the build-up to the free-kick but might have been a soft free-kick and a soft penalty in the first half. We played well to be fair and created good chances. Pablo Perez came into the team tonight and showed his quality as well. Through a bit of luck here and there, we could gave got a couple of goals in either half. It’s not easy, hard to work out why our players have not scored the number of goals they are expected to. Confidence plays a part, luck plays a part and we’ve got to keep working to find answers.”

Potential January transfer activity

While clubs in and around the playoffs spots are strengthening their squads with signings, Grayson outlined that signing players in January is not easy, “It’s difficult to get players for anybody in the January window. We are looking at a couple of players but only time will tell that. People won’t let players go because they are challenging for the playoffs. We are looking to see what we can do.”

Senior players keeping motivation high

Amid raucous celebrations from the East Bengal faithful, Bengaluru FC players looked shattered after Cleiton’s winner. Still, Grayson believes they can take a lot of positives from their attitude, “I think you can see how the players were at the end of the game, they gave everything and tried everything in their power to win the game. They are all hurting because we lost another match we didn’t deserve to. We’re not finding a way to win matches and we’re all finding it difficult to accept it.”

Grayson’s future is not in his hands

After winning the Durand Cup, things have rapidly gone downhill for Bengaluru. Grayson said that his future is not in his hands, “I have until now and who knows what happens in the future. That’s not in my hands. We had a good pre-season and sometimes it’s difficult when results are not going for you. We’ve played really well and deserve more points in our tally. But it’s football and that’s how it works.”

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