East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat expressed his disappointment after his team suffered a defeat against NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Saturday.

NorthEast United FC raced to a 2-0 lead early on in the game after goals from Tomi Juric and Nestor Albiach. East Bengal FC pulled one back through Nandhakumar Sekar early on in the second half, but NorthEast United FC retained their two-goal cushion soon after with Juric bagging another one. Debutant Felicio Forbes reduced the deficit for East Bengal FC late on in the game, but Cuadrat’s side couldn't find an equaliser despite pushing hard in the dying stages of the game.  

Looking back at the game, Cuadrat was pleased with the response from his players in the second half, but felt Juric’s second goal made things difficult for his side to make their way back into the game. 

“When you concede two goals as you are starting the match, you know that you are going to have a lot of difficulties. My message to the players at half-time was that if we score one goal, we will win the game. We had a good reaction. The players were trying their best with some changes in the tactics and to go for (winning) the game,” Cuadrat said in the post-match press conference.

“But at 1-3, that was the turning point. With 2-0 in 15 minutes, it was a disaster at the start of the game but we had time. And I was sure we were going to score and put them in the box. But for me the turning point was the third goal (by NorthEast United FC),” he added.  

The result saw East Bengal FC’s six-game unbeaten streak in the ISL come to an end. During this period, the Red & Golds just conceded thrice with two goals coming in the Kolkata Derby against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. 

This was the second straight game where the team conceded two or more goals. Cuadrat was displeased with the way his team conceded two goals in the first half and acknowledged it was going to be a difficult challenge for his team thereafter.  

“I'm not happy about anything. When you concede three goals in a game, it's very difficult to get points. We are working a lot towards our defensive solidity. It was one of the positive things the team was having. I’m very angry with my players. It was a bad start to the game. They were trying to be compact and play on the counter-attack and we made things very easy for them at the start of the match. We knew that was the plan of the game (for the opposition) but you cannot concede two goals in this way,” Cuadrat explained.