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Moga saves EB the blushes

James Moga, at the Barasat Stadium, on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Busan Sun Moon FC turned on the style, but that was not enough for them to log full points as Kingfisher East Bengal rallied to hold them to a 1-1 draw in the opening match of the IFA Shield, at the Barasat Stadium, on Wednesday.

Sun Moon FC took the lead in the fourth minute through Gim Daehan and James Moga’s strike restored parity 13 minutes before regulation time.

On Tuesday, Sun Moon FC coach Kim Jaesoo and captain Sin Heejae had promised entertaining football. And they kept their word. The likes of Sim Jinui, Lee Kwangmin, Gim and Kin Jongwoo literally toyed with the AFC Cup semi-finalists.

Such was their domination in the Group I match, particularly in the first half, that Edeh Chidi and Ryuji Sueoka had a verbal spat on the ground itself. That was midway through the first half. It was more to do with a frustration of being outplayed by an University side than anything else.

Man of the Match Sim had an amazing game and picked out Abhishek Das as his bunny. Every time the Korean ran with ball, Abhishek panicked. The young lateral back had no clue as Sim switched flanks at the blink of an eye. At times it looked hilarious. Just when Abhishek thought Sim would be at the right flank tormenting Robert Lalthlamuana, he would drift to the left and taunt him.

The goal came from Abhishek’s side only. On the break, Sim and Gim combined brilliantly and the former cut inside, fooling Abhishek, and played a smart pass to Gim, whose prompt low left-footer hit the back of the net giving Abhra Mondal hardly a chance to move.

That East Bengal did not concede more was because of Abhra who was outstanding under the bar. Also the woodwork came to East Bengal’s rescue in the 73rd minute. Substitute Tak Woosun’s stunning 27-yard volley hit the post and went out as Abhra just looked on.

East Bengal also had their chances. Shylo Malsawmtluanga missed a couple of sitters in each half.

East Bengal’s equaliser in the 77th had a liberal dose of help from the Korean outfit. Substitute Lalrindika Ralte’s centre from the left was missed by Sun Moon goalkeeper Lee Insoo and the ball went to Chidi. The Nigerian’s shot from the right was partially blocked by the goalkeeper, but Moga was in the right place at the right time to tap home the rebound.

Armando Colaco heaped praise on the youngsters. “They played an excellent game. We showed great character… Koreans are miles ahead of us, still these boys fought. I think this performance will give confidence to the team,” Colaco said.

Colaco did not give importance to the Chidi-Sueoka issue. “These things happen… He complained of lack of passes from the midfield and Sueoka protested. Do not magnify trivial issues,” he said.