|East Bengal’s Edeh Chidi (from left), Reisangmi Vashum and Uga Okpara
celebrate after their victory, on Thursday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: Police AC simply didn’t have the resources to arrest East Bengal’s aggression, in a CFL Premier Division Super 12 encounter, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Thursday. Not really a match, it was actually a mismatch because the gulf between the top four of the league and the rest seems to be increasing every year.
The result looked obvious from almost the opening minute of the match. The only question was how many will East Bengal score… They managed four, conceding none. Joaquim Abranches (2), Edeh Chidi and Lalrindika Ralte were the scorers.
Chidi was the first to find the way to the goal, his neat grounder from the edge of the box beating the Police AC ’keeper hands down in the 11th minute. The second goal, in the 27th minute, came through Joaquim when he entered the box unchallenged through the left side before beating the ’keeper at the near post.
On both the occasions, the Police AC ’keeper, Jhantu Mondal, looked too feeble and was not in the right position. Also, Police AC’s defenders, or rather offenders, hardly made any effort to avert the danger.
The defence was again at fault when East Bengal added their third in the 33rd minute. Off a Subodh Kumar corner, Lalrindika blasted home from point-blank range as the Police AC defenders lay in a heap without any rhyme or reason.
Joaquim got his second, in the 50th minute, when he, after collecting an excellent through from Vashum, efficiently slotted the ball past an advancing Mondal.
The winners could have easily added a few more to the tally, but then not every chance gets translated into a goal. While Vashum and Cavin Lobo missed easy opportunities in the first-half, Chidi was guilty of wasting a golden chance in the 73rd minute. With the Police AC ’keeper at his mercy, the Nigerian had all the time in the world to choose his spot and score his second goal of the match. But Chidi went for power instead of finesse and his powerful shot sailed over the crosspiece.
The only time Police AC trouble East Bengal ’keeper Abhijit Mondal was in the 83rd minute of the match. Abhijit Sarkar did well to reach a Goutam Pal free-kick, but his volley was aimed straight at the EB ’keeper.
East Bengal coach Marcos Falopa must have hoped that the CFL matches would aid his team’s preparation for their crucial AFC Cup quarter final match against Semen Padang, on Tuesday. Well, his team have scored eight goals in two outings, but given the quality of competition, one is not sure whether Falopa has really reached his goal.
After the match, Falopa insisted that he respects all his opponents. “The most important thing is that we have got full points from the match… I’m very happy with that fact. But you have to understand that we are in a difficult situation… Some of our players are with the national team, some are coming back from injuries. So while we played great in the first-half today, we weren’t that good in the second.”
East Bengal: Abhijit Mondal, Saumik Dey, Uga Okpara, Gurwinder Singh, Naoba Singh, Lalrindika Ralte, Subodh Kumar (Shylo Malsawamtluanga, 46), Cavin Lobo, Reisangmi Vashum (Seiminlen Doungel, 74), Edeh Chidi, Joaquim Abranches (Baljit Sahni, 59)
Police AC: Jhantu Mondal, Debashis Bajga, Samir Basu, Henry Opara, Paresh Sardar, Goutam Pal, Biswajit Mondal, Arijit Basak, Bira Oraw (Maidul Mallick, 46), Nilkanta Paria (Abhijit Sarkar, 63), Ndudirim Henry
Referee: Prabir Dhar