ISL 2020-21 | Poor Start Turned Out To Be Decisive Against SC East Bengal, Admits Stuart Baxter


Odisha FC head coach Stuart Baxter felt that the poor start to the game against SC East Bengal turned out to be decisive at the end, with them slumping to yet another defeat. The ‘Juggernauts’ are still without a win in the ongoing Indian Super League, having already played eight matches.

Odisha FC and SC East Bengal – the only two teams who were yet to win a game in the ongoing season of the Indian Super League locked horns at the Tilak Maidan, last Sunday evening. Even though it was expected to be a hard-fought game, SC East Bengal literally sealed the deal with a couple of goals in the first half itself. Odisha FC did manage to take control of the game after the break, but they were denied an equalizer several times before conceding the third goal in the closing stages, with the match ending 3-1 in favor of the Kolkata-based team in the end. Odisha FC head coach Stuart Baxter feels that the poor start to the game turned out to be decisive at the end.

“We were prepared for them to play in any one of the two different ways and it wasn’t a million miles from what we prepared for. The start of the game was the wrong sort of profile for us. We didn’t pass the ball and allowed them to get on the ball and when they put the pressure we gave away a goal. It eventually turned out to be decisive,” said Stuart Baxter, after the loss to SC East Bengal.

It’s not that they have underestimated SC East Bengal, but they have let in two poor goals, according to the manager which has resulted in a loss for them. On the other hand, he admitted that the players were aware that it was a difficult game and they were far too tight from the beginning itself.

“We didn’t underestimate East Bengal at all. If you look at the performances of both teams, the only difference is we let in two very poor goals which got them in front, and then we had to chase the game. We allowed the ball to bounce in our penalty area, that’s just poor play. The players felt that it was an important game and were far too tight at the beginning of the game,” added the manager.