‘Brazilian’ forward Cleiton Silva scored a brace to ensure East Bengal’s win, the day Pele passed away.

East Bengal got their first home win of the ISL 2022-23 season in a dramatic manner by beating Bengaluru FC in the dying moments of the match. Cleiton Silva scored a brace for Stephen Constantine’s side to fetch them three points and take their tally to 12. With this win, East Bengal are now placed eighth, five points away from the coveted sixth position.

After the game, a visibly happy East Bengal coach Stephen Constantine addressed the post-match press conference to express his feelings about the game.

Overall reaction to the game

Constantine expressed his thoughts on the game at the presser. He stated that the win is an outcome of the collective effort of all the personnel associated with the club. He said:

“Firstly, I would like to congratulate the players. They have given absolutely everything for 90 minutes. They have done so in the last 10 games, but we just did not get the result. But today they fought hard. The backroom staff, the physio, the goalkeeping coach, the sports scientist, the doctor – everybody has been fantastic. I am not saying this just because we won but winning gives me the opportunity to say that. The fans that came to support us – I am very happy for them. It’s three points, that’s all. We have 12 now. We move on and look forward to the next game.”

Is the team over-reliant on Cleiton and Mahesh for getting wins?

Stephen Constantine did not refute any claim stating that the team is over-reliant on Cleiton Silva for wins. Rather, he said that he is happy to rely on Cleiton for getting a win. He said:

“If we have to rely on Cleiton for 10 goals this season, I will take it. He is one of the most professional players I have been privileged to coach. His attitude toward the game (was very good). He did not stop running from start to finish. To score goals on the day the great man Pele passed away – one Brazilian to another. I thought it was very fitting that a Brazilian won the game for us today.”

The character shown by the team

Constantine heaped praise on his team for showing a strong winning mentality and finding a late winner. He said:

“The big thing for me was, in previous games, heads were dropped and more goals were conceded after conceding once. But today, when Bengaluru scored, we kept our focus on the job. We managed to score at the last moment through an unbelievable free-kick.”

The tactician further stated, “We have said many times that we are trying to build a new team here. It takes time. Despite the hard work that everyone is putting in, you are not going to win 10 games out of 10 when you have a late start to the season. We are behind, it is not possible. However, this season we already won four games. I think last year we won one. It is another step in the right direction. We have nine more games left and we will try to win as many of them as possible.”

Tight schedule going forward?

Stephen Constantine said that he likes to play games at a higher frequency. Hence, games coming thick and fast will not be a problem for him. He stated:

“We had a gap of 14 days between the Mumbai game and today. It is a living nightmare for me. I can’t stand it. I need games to come thick and fast. We will try to prepare, be ready, and win as many games as we can.”

First home win of the season

Constantine expressed his thoughts on the crowd after winning for the first time at home this season. He said:

“I thought there were 60,000 people and somebody told me there were 9,000. It sounded like 60,000 after the second goal.”

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