Both managers exhibited contrasting emotions following the match.
Mohun Bagan prevailed over East Bengal in the first Kolkata Derby this season in the I-League. The Mariners coach Sanjoy Sen was delighted after his team managed to walk away with all three points this afternoon.
“We should have scored atleast 5-6 goals. Two hit the woodwork, Both (Ansumana) Kromah and (Asier Dipanda) Dicka missed two goals each. Maybe on another day, better refereeing would have yielded us a penalty [in the first half]. But, a win is a win, be it by a margin of one goal or more,” Sen said.
The Mariners boss still sees room for improvement in his team and hopes to address the areas soon. “See all the teams have new faces. It is never easy against any team. If you lose you get heavily criticized and if you win you are spared. Although we won, we too have many things to work on.”
He continued, “We have to address a few weak points and will need to cover those areas as soon as possible because we play our next three matches in a span of 10 days. We also need to look into our injury concerns. Dicka suffered a knock today on his ankle. Hope he’s fine. Let’s see.”
Speaking about the opposition Sen said, “EB couldn’t create any goalscoring opportunities. We were hardly troubled by their attack. Although we fumbled in between, we had everything under control most of the time.”
On being asked about the strategies he employed for the game the tactician answered, “I don’t believe in man-marking. I prefer zonal-marking. We played as we planned and the result is there for you.”
He also added, “Keeping the players relaxed was a key to this win. We didn’t create much hype about the “Kolkata Derby” in the dressing room. The lads played their natural game and up to their full potential. If we play in this way we can beat any team in India.”
Sen also stressed on the need to remain grounded despite the win. “Its too early to comment about whether we can win the I-League. In last few derbies too, we beat them [EB] but failed to win the crown. Yes, it would be a great feeling if we can win both the derbies and the I-League as well.”
Match Report & Highlights:Brilliant Mohun Bagan oust East Bengal in thrilling Kolkata Derby
Eze Kingsley Obumneme, whose solitary goal proved to be the difference between the two sides also expressed his happiness after scoring his first I-League goal. “This is my first goal I-League goal and scoring it in the Kolkata Derby?? It couldn’t get any better than this. It is the best thing that has happened to me recently. I dedicate this goal to my mother.”
About his former association with Red and Gold coach Khalid Jamil, Kingsley said, “New season, new club. Yes he [Jamil] used to be my coach last season at Aizawl FC, but that’s past. We are all professionals, we know our job well.
Kolkata Derby Highlights: Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal
Opposition manager Khalid Jamil blamed defensive frailties for the loss saying “We lost man-to-man marking, it was a total defensive lapse.We put in the fight, the boys tried hard. But, what matters are the points, and we couldn’t get it.” said the coach.
Speaking about the opposition and the road ahead for the Red and Gold the coach said, “Mohun Bagan played well. They pressed and attacked well. Unfortunate that Willis Plaza couldn’t capitalize on his chances. He must work harder. At the end of the day, all I can say is that we have to work hard and think about the next match, nothing more than that.”
The coach concluded by saying, “The players gave their all, but I take full responsibility for the defeat.”