East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat expressed satisfaction with the performance of his players after they got the better of Bengaluru FC in a nervy Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday. 

East Bengal FC took the lead in the game through a penalty from Saul Crespo but Sunil Chhetri restored parity for the visitors in the second half from the spot. It didn't take long for East Bengal FC to reclaim their lead as Cleiton Silva put the hosts ahead. The result saw East Bengal FC end their final league game at home on a winning note, while also keeping their playoff hopes alive in the process. Meanwhile, it was the end of the road for Bengaluru FC in the race for the playoffs. 

Looking back at the game, Cuadrat was proud of the effort put in by his players and acknowledged how smart they had to be with their game plan despite Bengaluru FC hogging majority of the possession.    

“I really appreciate the effort the guys put in the game. Not a lot of good football, we have to be honest. Bengaluru FC played better football. But we had to be smart about the movement of our position and try to take advantage of our pace during the counter attacks and our consistency in defence. I think it was open because in the end we got the three points and they didn't create a lot of clear chances. I'm very happy. It’s very good for the supporters also that we finished the season like this with a victory at home,” he said in the post-match press conference. 

East Bengal FC’s sixth win of the season saw them move up to the sixth spot in the standings. In three seasons they have been part of the ISL previously, the team has never come close to reaching the playoffs. However, things could change this season and with two wins in as many games, their chances look promising.  

“I’m happy that after struggling all the seasons in the ISL, East Bengal FC fans can be proud of the team, of the effort by the guys and the things that we are getting. We are getting into the finals and getting to play the last game of the regular season with a clear objective, clear target to get into the playoffs because it's something that they really deserve. They have been helping us a lot during the season. They have been travelling with us. So I'm happy that it's kind of a reverse (favour) for the supporters and I'm happy to be proud of it,” Cuadrat stated.   

Cuadrat was also pleased with the performances of winger Aman CK and midfielder Sayan Banerjee who came on in the second half against Bengaluru FC. Both players put on a terrific shift after being introduced, showcasing maturity beyond their age. 

“They (Sayan and Aman) youngsters don’t have real experience. They are playing against Sunil (Chhetri) who has been playing in the top (football leagues of India) for the last 20 years. These guys have been playing Calcutta (Football) League, Reliance (Foundation Development League) and now suddenly, they have to play in front of 20000 (supporters), 50000 the other day against Mohun Bagan SG. It’s not easy. They have to make difficult decisions. They are still developing their physicality. They are small, they don't have a lot of muscles but they have a big heart. They really want to become professionals. What they also have is the energy, the pace needed in the game,” Cuadrat said. 

“I’m very happy that they have been making an impact everytime they have to play for us. They are players we want to use in the future. I also wanted to give an opportunity to Mahitosh (Roy) and Shyamal (Besra) who were on the bench but can you imagine making that kind of (substitution) move in that kind of game in the last minutes. It’s a big responsibility. Everyone is working well. Let’s see what happens in the next match,” he added.