Happy for the fans: Constantine after East Bengal FC’s first home win of the season

East Bengal FC head coach Stephen Constantine expressed his delight for the club fans and heaped praise on his players and staff after the Red & Golds recorded their first home win of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) after beating Bengaluru FC 2-1 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Friday.

Like in the reverse fixture, the former Bengaluru FC player Cleiton Silva proved to be the difference once again. The Brazilian opened the account at the 39th minute and delivered an absolute screamer in injury time, which proved to be the winning goal. 

While East Bengal FC had lost all their home games so far this season, they ensured that they sent the back home smiling this time after a thrilling win. Constantine heaped praise on his players and staff after what was an epic victory.

“Firstly, I would like to congratulate the players. They gave absolutely everything for 90 minutes. They have done this in the previous 10 games, but we didn’t get the result. The backroom staff, the physios, the goalkeeping coach, the analysts, the sports scientists, doctors..everybody, they have been fantastic. And I’m not saying this because we won and it gives me the opportunity to say that. And for the fans who support us, I’m happy for them. It’s three points, that’s all. We have 12 now. We move on and we look forward to the next game,” Constantine said at the post-match press conference.

Silva stole the show for East Bengal FC, scoring against his former club while also reigniting his team’s hopes of reaching the playoffs. Silva is not only the East Bengal FC’s leading goalscorer this season, but also the joint-leading goalscorer in the league alongside Chennaiyin FC’s Abdenasser El Khayati with seven goals. Constantine lauded Silva for his heroics and felt that the occasion was right for him. 

“If we have to rely on him (Silva) for 10 goals this season, I’ll take it. His attitude towards the game, he’s one of the most professional players that I have been privileged to coach. He didn’t stop running from start to finish and to score a goal on the day that the great man Pele passed away..from one Brazilian to another, I thought it was very fitting that it was a Brazilian that won the game for us,” Constantine said.

Eighth-placed East Bengal FC have notched 10 points in 11 games and have won four matches so far, which is their best-ever tally in any Hero ISL season. They are nine points off Odisha FC, placed six, and will be hoping to make it to the playoffs come the end of the league stage. Constantine explained how crucial this victory was as they are rebuilding a new team this season. The EBFC head coach compared their last season results and reiterated that the club is moving towards the right path.

“I've said this many times that we are rebuilding, we are trying to establish a new team here. It takes time. A game like this validates the hard work that everyone is putting in. You won’t win 10 out of 10 games when you have a late start to the season. When you have all the documented problems that we had, it’s not possible. We won four games, last season they (EBFC) won one. So it’s a step in the right direction. We have nine more games left and we will try to win as many of those games as possible,” Constantine said. 

Constantine said he wants to carry on this momentum and win as many games as possible in the second half of the season.

"We had a 14 day gap between today and the Mumbai City FC game. It's a living nightmare for me and I can't stand it and I need games, so let them come thick and fast  and we will try to be prepared and get ready and win as many matches as we can," he said.

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