Nandhakumar Sekar’s solitary goal inspired East Bengal FC to secure a hard-fought victory against Chennaiyin FC in Kolkata. It was the fourth win of the ISL 2023–24 season for Carles Cuadrat’s side and their second since the commencement of the league after the Kalinga Super Cup.

The Red and Gold Brigade found it hard to break the deadlock in the first 45 minutes, but some strategic changes during the half-time break brought them back into the game, as they sneaked past the Marina Machans by a narrow 1-0 margin, registering their first-ever win in the league against the same opponent. By bagging three valuable points, East Bengal FC have kept their playoff hopes alive and remain one of the top contenders for the final playoff spot with 18 points in 16 matches. 

After the match, Nandha, the only goal scorer of the match, gave an exclusive interview to, where he spoke about his goal tally, their forthcoming match against current league topper Odisha FC, and more.

Following his two successive goals against Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC, Nadhakumar now has the highest number of goals (5) by an Indian in the ISL 2023–24 season thus far. Since joining the Kolkata-based club in June 2023, the Chennai-born winger has been playing a pivotal role in their attacking line-up and was a very crucial member of their Kalinga Super Cup triumph and Durand Cup runners-up squad.

The former Odisha FC forward was delighted to net another goal for the century-old club in a highly intensified contest.

“I’m very happy to score in the tough game (against Chennaiyin FC),” Nandhakumar told

“It was a crucial game. After many draws and losses, getting three points is very important. I’m very happy for the team,” he added.

Before joining the Red and Gold Brigade, Nandhakumar had seven goal contributions for Odisha FC and was a key member of the Kalinga Warriors, helping them to clinch their first trophy in the form of the Super Cup 2023. The 28-year-old is anticipating a challenging outing against his former club, which is scheduled to play on February 29 at the Kalinga Stadium.

“It’ll be a good game. Odisha FC are now at the top of the table. We are ready for the battle. We will go for three points,” he commented.

After conceding another yellow card to their name in the Chennaiyin FC game, East Bengal FC’s defensive stalwart Hijazi Maher will miss the game against Odisha FC, while head coach Carles Cuadrat will also be unavailable on the sidelines. Speaking in context, Sekar said,

“It’s difficult to manage. We have players who are ready for the team. It’s good for the players who are on the bench to step up. It’ll be an important game for them also,” he said.

With five goals and three assists, Sekar is so far the highest goal contributor this season among the Indians, surpassing Sunil Chhetri (who has seven goal contributions this season) in the list. However, the winger has his eyes fixed on achieving more successive feats with East Bengal FC.

“I’m very happy to have goal contributions,” he stated.

“Not only for me but also for my team to reach this level. I want to achieve more and more,” he signed off.