Monday, 30th October 2017

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We should have won, says Kibu

The Spaniard faced a lot of criticism after Kerala FC beat Bagan in the Durand Cup final

By Arindam Bandyopadhyay in Calcutta
  • Published 2.09.19, 2:30 AM
  • Updated 2.09.19, 2:30 AM
  • 2 mins read
An I-League Derby clash between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in December 2017. Santosh Ghosh

The chants “Mohun Bagan, Mohun Bagan” were still reverberating around the Salt Lake Stadium when coach Kibu Vicuna walked in for the post-match media conference, 30 minutes after referee CR Srikrishna had blown the final whistle.

The Spaniard faced a lot of criticism after Kerala FC beat Bagan in the Durand Cup final.

But on Sunday, after the goalless draw against East Bengal in the CFL Derby, Vicuna looked much more at ease. A confidence, which came from an impressive performance by the Bagan players against a team who were the favourites in the build-up to the season’s first Derby clash, reflected on his beaming face.

“We should have won the match. I am a bit upset with the result,” Vicuna said.

“It was a very tough match. We got more chances. Overall, I am happy with the way we played. The good thing is that you can recognise our style of play,” Bagan coach said.

Bagan striker Salva Chamorro warmed the bench on Sunday. Vicuna said it was part of his strategy. “We are playing every three days so players need rest. Our game plan on Sunday was suited more with Fran Gonzalez’s style of play.”

When asked about missed chances, Vicuna said: “We are working on our finishing.”

Vicuna feels young Sheikh Sahil has a bright future ahead. “I am very happy that an academy player is featuring in the starting XI regularly.”

Man of the Match Joseba Beitia dedicated the award to his family and friends. “Given how we played, I think we should have won the game. As for this award, it’s for my family and friends.”

In-form duo of Jaime Santos and Bidyasagar Singh didn’t feature in East Bengal’s starting eleven. Coach Alejandro Menendez Garcia defended the controversial decison. “If Jaime had played, then Marcos de la Espada wouldn’t have got a chance. I started with two strikers because I wanted to win the game,” he said.

Alejandro wants to count the positives from the match. “We finished another game without conceding a goal, and that too against a strong team,” Alejandro said.

The Spanish coach said his team got more chances to score than Bagan. “I think we had more chances. In the first half they controlled the game more but couldn’t capitalise.”

According to Alejandro, East Bengal played better in the second half. “We got more control of the ball. I am happy with the team’s performance. I know they will improve,” he said.