We just took advantage of FC Goa’s mistakes: SC East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera

SC East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera flashed out the strategy which helped them overcome FC Goa 2-1 in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa to register their first victory of the on-going season.

SC East Bengal struck early on, as Naorem Mahesh Singh converted after a slip-up from the FC Goa defence. Alberto Noguera restored parity for the Gaurs in the 37th minute, but Singh struck once again to complete his brace and also paved the way for the maiden win of their campaign.

Rivera addressed the media during the post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts: 

You said you wanted to lift the mood of the team when you came in, did the win help?

Yeah, for everyone, it’s nice. It's an amazing moment because the team was fighting for this moment for 11 matches and we got it. And the mood now is very good, the team is happy, the players are excited and they are enjoying this moment.

SC East Bengal won after 11 matches, what change did you make to the team?

We used our weapons for this match. We didn't have too many players and we didn't have many chances. And we had to wait for our moment to defend well. Well, with this attitude of the players that they can defend at this high level. And we knew that they would make some mistakes and if we took advantage of their mistakes, we could win the match, and that happened. It’s very nice, because when you plan and everything happens according to plan, it is really nice for the coach.

SC East Bengal had two shots on target and scored from each one of them. Was the aim to be efficient rather than play total football?

Yeah. Today we did not play total football, obviously. We will try to do that, when we have all of the players available, but the important thing is that, when you have clear chances, and we have clear chances, only the goalkeeper to beat. And that's what we wanted. And we are happy because our plan was done perfectly by the players.

Naorem Mahesh Singh has scored two goals in the game. Apart from that, which are the other players that have impressed you?

Yeah, all, I cannot say one player because the attitudes and the efforts of the players were amazing. We didn't make any mistakes. We defended perfectly and we tend to change the tactic in the dressing room during half-time, and they did exactly what we wanted because in the first half they created more chances than us and we changed. They (players) played bravely and I cannot say (about) one player because today all of the players. Also players on the bench, some players in the room in quarantine, they are pushing for us.

What are areas that you need to improve going forward?

Yeah. We'll have to take it step by step. Now we have a new match, we have to prepare for it. We need to check every day, which players are available and try to convince them. And if they can do it in the same way that they did today, it's very possible that we can win again. We will fight for that, we will go step by step and can enjoy every match.

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