This was SCEB’s first win in 11 matches in the Indian Super League 2021-22 season.

This might be the Spaniard’s second stint at the club, but Mario Rivera is no stranger to the current predicament SC East Bengal are going through. He showed that he is ready for the challenge after he led the team to their long-awaited maiden win in this edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).

Naorem Mahesh Singh stood out as the star performer with his brace, as the Red and Gold were alert enough to pounce upon the Gaurs’ defensive lapses. The side moved up a place in the points table, now sitting in 10th position with nine points.

The head coach spoke to the media about his successful debut:

On SC East Bengal’s maiden win

It took the historic club three different coaches and first half of the season to bag all three points. “It’s amazing as the team had been fighting for this moment for 11 matches. The mood is much better and the players are excited,” Mario Rivera rejoiced.

On tonight’s performance

The new man at the helm barely had a couple of training sessions due to a handful of players isolating inside the bio-bubble. “We didn’t have many players at our disposal and had to wait for our chances in the game.

“We needed to defend well and we knew that they would make some mistakes. They did, and we were able to take advantage of that and win the match. It feels nice when you have a plan and when it works out,” the coach reflected on tonight’s winning performance.

An efficient performance

SCEB had two shots on target and two goals. The media quizzed the coach regarding his notions on “total football” and whether that was employed in tonight’s victory. “Today wasn’t total football. We will try to do that once we have more players. It is important to have clear chances and we did have them right in front of the goalkeeper,” Rivera commented.

Impressive collective performance

While Naorem Singh certainly bagged the Man of the Match honours, it was a collective team performance that ensured the side’s first win. “All of them. I cannot single out one player because their attitude was amazing. We changed our tactics in the dressing room at half-time and they carried out the plan perfectly,” said an impressed Mario Rivera.

Looking forward to the next match

The Red and Gold are back in action against Hyderabad FC next Monday. “We have to prepare for the next match and see which players are available. The players need to be convinced of the plan and if they carry it out then it is very much possible to win again,” the tactician concluded.

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