Carlos Pena, Stephen Constantine Dismiss Talks of ‘Luck’ in Edu Bedia’s Last-gasp Winner

FC Goa kicked off their Indian Super League (ISL) season with a last-gasp win over East Bengal at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday.

FC Goa’s Brandon Fernandes scored the opening goal inside 10 minutes as Cleiton Silva equalised for East Bengal from the penalty spot. Edu Bedia’s free-kick from the half line clinched the winner in the 94th minute.

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At the post-match press conference, when FC Goa boss Carlos Pena was asked about the goal being lucky, he shot back: “No, it was about quality. He (Bedia) is a player who is great at free-kicks. He could have scored before from the corner, believe me. He delivers those corners and free-kicks very well. You all know Edu Bedia with his quality. The free-kick that he took was with intention. It could have been touched by any player or by an opponent, but it went into the net.”

Ivan Gonzalez had been forced to come out of defence on occasions to snuff out attacks in mid-field as FC Goa players looked at ease with the ball at their feet and under no real pressure. In the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, FC Goa won a free kick in the East Bengal half, near the halfway line, with Ivan making another mistake.

Edu Bedia signalled his wingers to get inside the box, just like he did just a few minutes earlier, and everyone in the stadium knew where he was planning to send the ball – into the danger zone.

He whipped in a deep ball into the box as the ball bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper and snuck into the back of the net without getting a touch off of any player.

East Bengal coach Stephen Constantine at the post-match press conference, also dismissed talks of ‘luck’, saying: “You can’t say it was bad luck because you lost the game, but I think we are trying to find our identity. As I said before, we are a new team, we have new players. We’ve had four actual weeks of training before the season started. When I arrived here, there were only 12 players in training. A lot has happened, and I’m not making excuses but it’s not the start we wanted.”

Constantine added that there were learnings to be taken away from the loss as well, pointing out that the team slowly figuring out the way they want to play the game.

“The plus side (of the game) is that we can see the little glimpses of what we’re going to look like going forward (in the season), and I thought it was exceptional in the second half, and this is the kind of performance that we’re looking for,” he said.

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