Kerala Blasters FC edged past Mohun Bagan Super Giant to reach the top of the table as they defeated the Mariners by a 1-0 scoreline in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata.

The Bengali defender duo, Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das, who were an integral part of the Mariners’ squad a few months ago, played together for the first time against Mohun Bagan Super Giant in Kolkata. Both joined Kerala Blasters FC in the recent summer transfer window and have been pivotal so far in the Blasters’ defense.

It was truly an emotional outing in every sense for former Mohun Bagan Super Giant captain Kotal to play against his childhood club in his hometown. But Kotal did not want to be emotional, as he showed professionalism after securing an important win against the Mariners.

“It’s good to secure all three points. It’s my responsibility for my new team, Kerala Blasters FC, to win games,” Kotal told indiansuperleague.com.

Kotal is overwhelmed to see how the Mariners welcomed him and showed their support for their former captain. But he also mentioned that they were tactically stuck to their strategies, which helped the Blasters secure a win against Mohun Bagan Super Giant.

“It’s a pleasure to see many of Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s fans still remember me and support me a lot during the game by chanting my name,” he stated.

Tactically, we stuck to our plans as we prepared ourselves before the game, and we as a team performed according to our strategy,” he added.

Kotal believes that there is no place for luck in football; the only things that matter in the end are hard work and commitment. He commended his players’ work rate and efforts and shared their commitment to their teams both on and off the field, which helped them earn such wins.

“I don’t believe that the word ‘luck’ exists without hard work and commitment. We all do lots of hard work as a team and as individuals, both on and off the field. That’s the reason we are here,” he commented.

Kotal acknowledged that Mohun Bagan Super Giant have enough depth in their squad with quality Indian players like Liston Colaco, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anwar Ali, Manvir Singh, Kiyan Nassiri, and Subhasish Bose. He comments that every team has to go through a bad phase many times, but he heartily believes that the Mariners will regain their form and bounce back in the second leg of this season.

“Mohun Bagan Super Giant has a quality squad with Liston Colaco, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anwar Ali, Manvir Singh, Kiyan Nassiri, and also with Subhasish Bose, who is leading from the back,” he said.

“Every team goes through a bad phase, but they will surely bounce back in the second leg of the season. They need to believe in themselves to get back to where they were,” he signed off.

The Mariners are still very close to my heart: Prabir Das

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prabir Das, who is a Mariner by heart, believed that his team could easily win the game by a big margin if they converted their chances. Speaking in context, he said:

“If we converted our chances into counter-attacks, we could have won the game by a big margin."

Das shares the necessity of having local players on every team to try to make them understand the emotions and feelings that they have for their team. He mentioned how local players like Sachin Suresh, Mohammed Aimen, Nihal Sudeesh, and Rahul KP helped him to realize the passion of the Yellow Army after his arrival.

“Every team needs to have local players on their team,” he opined.

“In Kerala Blasters FC, we have many local players in our team, like Sachin Suresh, Mohammed Aimen, Nihal Sudeesh, and Rahul KP. When I signed for the club, these players explained their supporters’ emotions and expectations from the club. Being from Kolkata, I know pretty well the emotions and passions of the supporters,” he added.

Das acknowledged that the Mariners might be missing a leader in the dressing room who could boost the team’s mentality and regain their morale. But he never forgot to mention that the Mariners are still very close to his heart, despite not playing for the club.

“I think Mohun Bagan SG may be missing a leader in the dressing room,” he asserted.

“The Mariners are still very close to my heart, despite not being at the club. I love them (the Mariners) very much; they just need to keep supporting the club, and they (Mohun Bagan SG) will surely bounce back,” he concluded.