NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese was surprised with the way his side conceded the winning goal in the last minute as they went down to Bengaluru FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, in Guwahati, on Friday.

Bengaluru FC forward Sivasakthi Narayanan opened the scoring in the second half, but the home side’s French midfielder Romain Philippoteaux equalised in 66th minute. Alan Costa, who had netted the winner in the reverse fixture, scored the winner once again in injury time to give Bengaluru FC the victory and a much needed three points in their bid to qualify for the playoffs.

After a pale first half, the second half was full of action, with three goals being scored. Bengaluru FC sit eighth in the Hero ISL table with 13 points, still a long way from the top six, while the Highlanders, with only a single victory, continue to remain at the bottom of the Hero ISL standings.

Annese admitted that this is how football works and that he wants his team to keep working hard in order to find that much-needed push.

“It is football, we need to work on bettering the situation and be more sure to find the push for our team. I am happy for the performance of the two new players, and I hope that (Wilmar) Jordan does not have a long-term injury. We need to think about the next game, but it is sad and painful to lose in the additional time, need to analyse and understand what went wrong. We have to carry on and believe in our players and the job we are doing,” the NEUFC head coach said in the post-match press conference.

The Highlanders have already signed two players in the ongoing transfer window – Hira Mondal and Alex Saji. Annese praised the work put in by the club with regards to transfers and is confident about having a few more signings before the end of the window.

“We work day and night on this, and for sure, there will be a new face in the team before next week. In future, more new players will give us strength and more aggressiveness, and for sure, there will be a new foreign player before the end of the window,” he concluded.