SC East Bengal lost 3-1 to ATK Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata Derby on Friday. The ISL debutants, who have managed just three victories this season, have only 17 points from 18 games.
Roy Krishna (15'), David Williams (72'), and Javi Hernandez (89') were the goalscorers for ATK Mohun Bagan. SC East Bengal's only goal of the game came when Tiri headed into his own net to make it 1-1 in the 41st minute.
Commenting on the outcome of the match, SC East Bengal's assistant coach Tony Grant said:
"Both teams went after each other. It was a strong game. The turning point was the second goal which we gave away. It was a sloppy goal. We've got experienced players in the back. It's a derby game and it was one each. We gifted them the second goal."
With the scores levelled at 1-1, ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna intercepted SC East Bengal defender Danny Fox's loose pass. The Fijian then played a neat ball to David Williams, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
"I don't think the opposition did much to win the game. We helped them. both the teams canceled each other out. There wasn't good football played by both the teams. They had the ball over the top. That was their game plan. I won't say it was the worst game. I think that the second goal was the turning point," Tony Grant further added.
"I've played in derbies myself and lost" - SC East Bengal assistant coach Tony Grant
Tony Grant represented Everton for six years and played numerous Merseyside Derbies against Liverpool. When asked to send a message to the heart-broken SC East Bengal fans, he replied:
"It's not nice. I have played in derbies myself and lost. I understand the hurt. All I can offer to say is that the boys played the hardest. They tried. But we gave a crazy goal away. For us as professionals, these games are going to come around. There is going to be an opportunity for the clubs to get their wrong right. Next season is again going to be two games against ATK (Mohun Bagan). They have built a strong team over the years in ISL. We have seen where they are. They are marshalled back by (Sandesh) Jhingan. For next season, we can turn the tables."
Although Bright Enobakhare dazzled for SC East Bengal, he couldn't score a goal. The likes of Pritam Kotal and Sandesh Jhingan planned well to stop him.
"At 1-1, with Bright (Enobakhare)'s runs, I thought we were probably going to be the team that was going to get a penalty or a goal. The opposition defended well. After gifting a goal, we went forward again. But, in the end, we got sucker-punched. At 1-1, it was very hard to say who was going to get the win," Grant added.
SC East Bengal will next face NorthEast United FC on Tuesday. The Highlanders won the corresponding fixture 2-0.