Javi Hernandez's goal worthy of winning any match: Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson expressed his dissatisfaction with his team's performance but found solace in the result after beating East Bengal FC.
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson expressed his dissatisfaction with his team's performance but found solace in the result after his squad secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory against East Bengal FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at Bengaluru's Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.
Having suffered defeat in their previous two matches, BFC managed to eke out a win against EBFC, marking their first points of the season. Mahesh Naorem put East Bengal FC in the lead, but Bengaluru FC's captain, Sunil Chhetri, levelled the scores with a spot-kick. The decisive moment came when Javi Hernandez doubled the tally for the Blues in the second half with an extraordinary bicycle kick, completing an impressive comeback win for Grayson's side.
Grayson admitted that he was dissatisfied with his team's performance but emphasised the importance of securing the three points.
“We were a bit fragile defensively, we didn't look that solid and we didn't create loads and loads of chances but a goal to win any game has won it tonight. We made it too easy, we didn't win enough challenges, we were a bit soft in that department but they were a good team. The result was the main thing tonight. I'll analyse all the performances individually and collectively as a team but we just had to win a game tonight and I'm delighted that we have,” he stated in the post-match press conference.
Hernandez scored his first goal of the season in spectacular fashion. He was a key figure for Bengaluru FC last season when they reached the ISL final, contributing to 11 goals. Grayson revealed that he was aware of Hernandez's ability to score such extraordinary goals, having witnessed the Spaniard practising them during training sessions.
“He tries it probably every day in training. It doesn't always have that end result, I can guarantee you that. I want you to credit him for trying it in the first place and then to finish it off is unbelievable. As I said, it's worth it winning any football match, not just in the ISL but right around the world. He's got that in his armoury. I'm delighted that he finished it off and he won us a game,” Grayson stated.
Grayson included Harsh Patre and Robin Yadav in his playing eleven while Lalremtluanga Fanai came off the bench, the trio making their ISL debuts after progressing through the first team from the academy. The starting eleven also featured Namgyal Bhutia and Parag Shrivas, two players who have been part of the first team for the past couple of seasons, having risen through the academy ranks.
Speaking on his decision to play five out-field players who all have come from the BFC Academy, he said: “We made it conscious in the summer that we were going to reduce the age group of the players, there was more experienced players went out but we knew that we had this group underneath that were ready for the first team and there's other younger players that didn't even get on tonight. So I don't care if you're 35 or 18, 17 and you're doing well in training, I'll have the trust in them and I like to think they've got the trust in me and we can work together and have a bright future for them.”