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ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan SG killed game in second half, says Bengaluru FC's Zaragoza after defeat (WATCH)

Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) defeated Bengaluru FC by 4-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday to take the battle of becoming the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 League Winners to the final day of the league stages on April 15.

football ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan SG killed game in second half, says Bengaluru FC's Zaragoza after defeat (WATCH) snt
First Published Apr 12, 2024, 11:44 AM IST

Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza expressed his disappointment after his team's loss to Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their final Indian Super League (ISL) fixture at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.

In the first half, both teams had opportunities, but it was Mohun Bagan SG who seized the lead through Hector Yuste. The Mariners added three more goals in the second half, courtesy of Manvir Singh, Anirudh Thapa, and Armando Sadiku. From that point, the home team struggled to recover as Mohun Bagan SG secured their largest victory in the ISL. This outcome also kept their Shield aspirations alive as they head into their final match against Mumbai City FC.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC suffered their 10th defeat of the season, marking their first loss at home under head coach Zaragoza. Beginning the post-match press conference, head coach Gerard Zaragoza provided his initial analysis of the game, which marked the team's most significant defeat under his leadership in the current campaign.

"First of all, a tough result. I think it's one mirror of our season. The first half that we competed in was in very good condition. I thought we could at least draw or even win or lead during the first half. But as I always say, Mohun Bagan SG came here to compete and to win the Shield," he said during the post-match press conference. 

He continued, "We cannot receive one goal (from Yuste) in one corner (that way). Then we missed one penalty. We had chances. But how we started the second half, it was impossible (to win). We worked exactly on what exactly we needed to do to stop them on the sides. We started and in six, seven minutes, they scored two goals, almost three, and killed the game. That cannot happen. Defensively, I think that the team was much, much better than before. But offensively, the reality is that we only scored 20 goals in 22 games. And here is something that we need to work on next season." 


Despite enjoying more possession of the ball against Mohun Bagan SG, Bengaluru FC managed just two shots on target. In contrast, Mohun Bagan SG recorded eight attempts on target and efficiently capitalized on their opportunities. The Mariners displayed diversity in their scoring as four different goalscorers contributed to their victory in Bengaluru.

When asked if the squad depth between the two teams made the difference, Zaragoza said, "No, the reality is that the Indians that we have, we can be proud and we can be happy. Of course we will try to bring, as I always say, 'leaders'. That's the word, (what I’ve been saying) the last two weeks. We need people with presence, people who dominate the games. This is something that we need to work on as a club to bring, to change this momentum that we have."

Finally, Zaragoza shared his message for the club's fans as the club wrapped up their season.  

"I only can say to them, sorry. First of all from my side and from the side of the players. They can be sure that we are going to return. We are going to be the Bengaluru FC that all of us love. I will work hard with Albert (Roca), Darren (Caldeira), Parth (Jindal) and all the staff will work hard to return Bengaluru FC where they need to be. And we can say nothing to them (supporters) because they were here today and I'm sure that they will be here again next season. We are going to enjoy,” he expressed. 

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