East Bengal coach praises players for victory

March 18th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) As coach it was Alok Mukherjee’s first international success with East Bengal. He savoured it the most, but amid celebrations he did not forget the architects of the crucial victory over Yemeni club Ahli Sana’a in the Asian Football Confederation Cup Tuesday. “We have played good soccer over the last few matches. Though we lost, we had outplayed Dempo in the Super Cup in Gurgaon, and we played well against Santos FC of South Africa in the IFA Shield, but again we could not score,” Mukherjee said after the match.

“Today we scored and we won. This win was very important for the team and myself as we had to prove a point or two to others,” he added.

Lauding all the players for the fabulous effort, Mukherjee said his first international win as East Bengal coach will be savoured by him for a long time. He had singled out Edmilson Marquis for playing the all-important match with injection.

Asked if his side would be able to repeat the performance in their away tie in Yemen, he said: “I will not talk about that now. But we are a much more confident lot.”

Sana’a coach Sabah Jumah blamed Kolkata’s hot weather for their defeat, but he praised the home side.

He was unhappy that the match was played in daylight in hot humid conditions.

“East Bengal are an organised lot. They played cohesive soccer. We lost because of the weather. We are not used to playing in such heat. We preferred to play in floodlight,” he said.

“Long journey, lack of practice and striker Ali-Al-Nono’s absence were the reasons for the defeat,” he added.

With the win, East Bengal have three points from two games, while Sana’a have one from two.

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