| Goalbound East Bengal medio Alvito DíCunha faces an improper challenge from Kabijit Khotel at Salt Lake Stadium Tuesday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: A couple of glaring defensive errors and some outstanding individual play by Mike Okoro resulted in Tollygunge Agragami crashing to a 1-4 loss against East Bengal in their CFL Super Division duel at the Salt Lake Stadium Tuesday.
The victory took East Bengal to 22 points from eight games while Tollygunge languish at 11 from the same number of games.
Though the scoreline suggests a resounding East Bengal victory, the match was not that one-sided. In fact, Tollygunge, relying on a counter attack-based game, had the better of the exchanges in the first session.
The absence of a blocker in the East Bengal middle-third often saw the Tollygunge attackers reach the penetrative zone with ease. However, what saved East Bengalís day was the strikersí inability to utilise the chances that came their way.
Tollygunge also ensured that East Bengal were denied use of the wings. Also, Okoro often fell back to initiate the attacks but found himself outnumbered in the attacking third. Moreover, the good passing game that East Bengal have been playing was strangely missing. One soon lost count of Chandan Dasí mispasses and only coach Subhash Bhowmick can explain why Das was persisted with.
But then, the two quick goals East Bengal got early in the second session snuffed the Tollygunge resistance. They went all out for the equaliser, thus allowing Okoro space. And the Nigerian didnít disappoint. He piled on East Bengalís agony with some beautiful ball-play.
East Bengalís new Brazilian defender Douglas de Silva was disappointing, the nippy Tolly boys often beating him for speed. He is slow to turn and his covering doesnít look extra-ordinary.
After a barren first session, when Tollygunge missed a sitter, courtesy Akeem, East Bengal took the lead in the 49th minute. The Tollygunge defenders allowed Alvito space and the medio took a left-footer from an acute angle. The goalkeeper was out of position as well.
Two minutes later, Isiaka Awoyemi made a hash of a high ball and Okoro, lurking nearby, beautifully controlled the ball and shot it into an open net.
Then, Okoroís run down the left opened up the opposition defence in the 74th minute. He ran from the half-line with a couple of defenders in hot pursuit and essayed a perfect pass for Subhashish Roy Chowdhury who made no mistake to make it 3-0.
A minute later, East Bengal gave away a penalty when Suresh mistimed his tackle on Debkumar Sashmol. Mehtab Hossain converted from the spot.
East Bengal got the fourth eight minutes from time when Okoro made a fine run on the break to set up Subhash Chakraborty inside the box.
East Bengal: Sandip Nandy; M. Suresh, Douglas De Silva, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury; Surya Bikash Chakraborty (Aneet Ghosh, 46), Shankarlal Chakraborty, Chandan Das, Malsawmtluanga, Alvito DíCunha, (Trijit Das, 76); Mike Okoro, Kulothungan (Subhash Chakraborty, 26)
Tollygunge Agragami: Gopal Das; Kabijit Khotel (Biswaroop Bishu, 78), Debkumar Sashmol, Isiaka Awoyemi, Dipayan Majumdar; Mehtab Hossain, Amitava Chanda, Sandip Das (Uttam Debnath, 59), Niladri Chakraborty (Laltu Das, 78); Ashim Biswas, Akeem Abolanle
Referee: Biswajit Bera