East Bengal FC registered a crucial 2-1 victory against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday.

Saul Crespo and Cleiton Silva’s goals propelled the Red and Gold Brigade to secure their first back-to-back wins in the ISL as they climbed to the sixth spot with 24 points from 21 matches. Significantly, their win against the Blues means they remain in the hunt for the sixth place.

After the match, one of East Bengal FC’s captains, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, gave an exclusive interview to indiansuperleague.com, where he spoke about their challenges for the forthcoming match, their playoff hopes, and shared his delight with their young footballers.

Playing for East Bengal FC is always beyond age: Harmanjot Khabra

Under Carles Cuadrat, young Indian footballers like Sayan Banerjee, Vishnu P.V., and Aman CK are getting valuable match times in the ISL 2023–24 for East Bengal FC. By displaying their potential with their zeal and passion and overcoming the deficiency of inexperience, the youth prospects are gradually becoming a key part of Cuadrat’s system and having an impact every time they get on the pitch.

While speaking about their young footballers, Khabra said by praising,

“I think this is what the young players are made of. It’s not that they just came in and started playing for East Bengal FC. We have been working together for the last 10 months.”

“All the senior players, coaching staff, and video analysts are there to support them with information. So, credit goes to the coaches who believe in these junior players. It’s not easy for them to perform in front of this huge crowd. It’s not about playing in the ISL; playing for East Bengal FC is always beyond age. I hope that they will keep going and have a great future,” he continued.

East Bengal FC will miss their guardian at the back, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, and their key midfielder, Souvik Chakrabarty, in their next match against Punjab FC due to suspension. However, the veteran acknowledged their importance within the team but also opined that each player would have to run their socks off while playing for the century-old club.

“They (Prabhsukhan Singh Gill and Souvik Chakrabarty) are very important parts of the team,” he stated.

“The coach always has his plans, and there are always opportunities for other players to perform, whether as a starter or as a substitute. Our team has more belief in each other. Whoever comes will give his all for the T-shirt. East Bengal FC matter a lot and has to absorb tremendous pressure. Whoever plays will give their best for the crest, and the responsibility will be the same,” he added.

The Red and Gold Brigade will have to play against the Shers behind closed doors due to unforeseen circumstances. Khabra and his team, who are used to playing in front of thousands of supporters, will have to take the field in an unfamiliar condition in New Delhi on April 10. But the 35-year-old defender doesn't want to think about any off-the-field issues; rather, he has urged his teammates to fix their focus on the do-or-die match against Punjab FC.

“When you play an away game on the north side of the country, it’s very difficult to get support from the spectators, especially in football. Anyway, we have a target to achieve, and that’s the most important thing,” he commented.

“We, the players, have to play our part inside the pitch. Now, we should concentrate more on our last match (against Punjab FC) in order to continue our playoff possibility,” he signed off.

I have time to perform well: Aman CK


Since making his ISL debut against Kerala Blasters FC back in November, Aman has displayed an impactful performance in their previous match against the Yellow Army in Kochi. The 21-year-old Kerala-born winger comes up as a surprise for the opponent’s full-backs with his rapid speed and has almost opened up the goal bound against Bengaluru FC’s Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Speaking about his experience in the ISL, Aman shared,

“I feel very happy and excited about getting game times for East Bengal FC. I had a very good opportunity to score, but I missed it. But I have time to perform well.”