Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza urged his players to bounce back in their remaining matches after his side lost to FC Goa by a 2-1 scoreline at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Thursday.

The Blues took an early lead in the game when Suresh Singh Wangjam’s accurate long ball found Shivaldo Chingambam Singh in free space, and the latter calmly slotted it to break the deadlock, leaving FC Goa's defensive line as spectators.

As the game unfolded, FC Goa started to take control of the match, creating consecutive attacks through Brandon Fernandes and Noah Sadaoui. The Gaurs levelled the scoreline in the 22nd minute when Boris Singh Thangjam’s shot from the edge of the box found the back of the net, taking a huge deflection from Odei Onaindia.

Just after the commencement of the second half, the visitors faced a big blow as Suresh Singh Wangjam was seen receiving a direct red card for his foul on Boris Singh Thangjam, leaving his team to play with a man less. In the 81st minute, Borja Herrera played a defence-splitting through ball to Boris in the far post, who made no mistake to seal the victory with his simple tap-in.

With this victory, Manolo Marquez’s men climbed to the third spot with 36 points in 19 matches while the Blues remained in the eighth position with 21 points from 19 matches.

Zaragoza believed that it was an end-to-end encounter for both teams in the opening half of the game but commended his players for their first-half performance, especially how they reacted after conceding the goal in the set-piece situation. But analyzing the match, he commented that a draw would be a fair result for both sides.

“In the first half, I think both teams were good. Both teams had (their) chances,” he said in the post-match press conference.

“In the 20–23 minutes, until FC Goa’s goal, we could not win duels. And if you do not win duels in football, you cannot win. But after that, we started to have the ball, we started to play, and we started to dominate. And I think that first half was really, really nice. But, as normal, the match could have been finished in a draw,” he added.

The Spaniard acknowledged his opponents' strengths but asserted that Suresh’s red card played a decisive role in their second-half performance.

Bengaluru FC will next take on Odisha FC at home on March 30. Zaragoza wants to shift his focus to the remaining three matches and secure the maximum number of points to continue their chase for the final playoff spot.

“With one man less against a team like FC Goa, who have good players and they kept their roles, they started to create chances. But the reality is that they only scored one goal, and it was because of our mistakes,” he explained.

“But football is like this. Congratulations to FC Goa for the three points. We go home thinking that we need to win the last three matches. We are Bengaluru FC. We’ll play (the next match) in Kanteerava. We will push hard,” Zaragoza concluded.