Calcutta: The revenge couldn’t have been any sweeter for East Bengal.
Being unbeaten since 2010, Techno Aryan Club had turned out to be East Bengal’s nemesis in the CFL. However, on Tuesday, in Kalyani, Trevor James Morgan’s men demolished Aryan 7-1 in the Super Nine stage tie to show who the real boss was. The obvious question put forward to Morgan in the end was the humiliation he and his wards had to suffer two years ago in the wake of the 1-4 defeat against the same opposition.
“It’s history now. It’s absolutely of no use thinking about that game. We like to live in the present. We’ve won today and need to be consistent in the remaining matches as well,” was all the East Bengal coach had to say.
Andrew Barisic’s hat-trick certainly pleased Morgan, but the Australian, at this level, shouldn’t have squandered chances that were easier than sitters. However, it’s good for East Bengal that Barisic himself admitted he needs to “work further on converting” chances.
Precisely, East Bengal could have scored at least seven more goals had the likes of Baljit Sahni and Penn Orji not missed easy opportunities alongside Barisic. The rivals being exposed due to the absence of their foreigners, with substitute goalkeeper Raju Chakraborty further compounding their problems, it couldn’t have been a better platform for East Bengal to take it out on Aryan.
Around 13 minutes it took for East Bengal to open the floodgates. Barisic, on receiving Baljit’s centre, chipped it over the advancing ’keeper to give his team the lead.
Soon after, Lalrindika Ralte, who had a fantastic game, scored through a superb long-ranger to double the lead before Barisic got his second in the 36th minute with a grounder from the edge of the box, off Baljit’s set up.
Barisic should have brought up his hat-trick moments later when he had an open net before him with just one Aryan defender lurking around. And much to the surprise of everyone, it was that defender itself, who denied Barisic from scoring, as the latter needlessly delayed in slotting the ball in.
Five minutes before half-time, Aryan stunned their illustrious opponents with a strike from Ram Mallik, who caught the East Bengal defence napping charged down the left flank to convert with a left-footer.
‘Normalcy’ was restored as soon as the second session got underway as Ralte scored his second with a brilliant diagonal left-footer from 20 yards to make it 4-1. Baljit, too, then added his name on to the scoresheet, thanks to goalkeeper Chakraborty who failed to collect Barisic’s floater.
Barisic finally scored his third in the 66th minute, off a centre from Penn before the Nigerian made room for himself to put one in seconds before the final whistle.