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EB escape with draw

Chennai: East Bengal rallied from two goals down to hold unfancied Indian Bank 3-3 in a National Football League match Monday. The result, however, is a big disappointment for the aspiring champions, who were keen to have at least four points from the two games before they embarked on the tour. But at the end of the day, they had to be contended with two.

The star of the day was Indian Bank’s Sri Lankan import, Kasun Nadika Jayasuriya, who scored a hattrick. But it was the tremendous fighting spirit of the Calcutta team that helped them come back to hold the Chennai outfit.

Considering the fact that the bankmen had lost three successive matches, East Bengal were expected to have it easy. But against the run of play, the red-and-gold brigade found themselves 0-2 down with Jayasuriya striking in the 21st and 22nd minutes.

East Bengal slowly gathered themselves up and started making a comeback in the second session. Their efforts bore fruit when Brazilian import Gilmar Goncalves pulled one back in the 51st minute. Two minutes hence, Jayasuriya completed his hattrick and it seemed curtains for East Bengal.

However, the flair of the Calcutta team came to their rescue. Gilmar martialled the resources as the Calcutta team started their comeback. Chandan Das drew blood in the 58th minute, and a minute later Venkatesh squared things up.

After that, East Bengal went all out in attack and could have sealed things up towards the later stages. But Indian Bank held forte to add one point to their kitty. The glamour outfit now have 18 points from eight matches while Indian Bank have eight. (PTI)

n Salgaocar, Vasco win: Pg 19

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