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Bad light robs EB of victory

Police AC goalkeeper Jhantu Mondal being shown the yellow card by referee Ranjit Bakshi, on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Two matches into the Championship round of the Calcutta Football League, East Bengal are yet to taste victory. After losing their opening match to Mohammedan Sporting, bad light forced their tie against Police AC to be abandoned in the 67th minute, at their home ground on Wednesday.

East Bengal were leading by a Ranty Martins goal when referee Ranjit Bakshi left the ground much to the disenchantment of the home team.

Police AC, who had been appealing for bad light since the start of the second session, had to leave the ground under police protection. Police AC coach Chima Okerie felt the match should have been stopped much earlier, and blamed poor light for conceding the goal.

Trouble started at the beginning of the second session with Police AC goalkeeper Jhantu Mondal appealing to the referee against bad light. His play-acting and time-wasting tactics drew flak from the home team. While the players took turns to argue with the referee, Chima did his bit pacing up and down the sidelines and shouting at his players and the referee.

Mondal’s time-wasting tactics finally incurred the referee’s ire and he was shown the yellow card. But by then, there was pandemonium in the middle as the Police AC players had turned their protest into a demonstration of sorts.

More than six minutes were wasted and once the match resumed, they again started appealing for bad light. Had the Police AC players not resorted to time-wasting tactics during the entire period, it would have been possible to complete the match.

It was another insipid performance from the home team. East Bengal struck at the fag end of the first half, when Baljit’s cross from the right was placed neatly into the net by an onrushing Ranty, his first goal for the red-and-gold brigade.

TEAMS

East Bengal: Luis Baretto, Raju Gaekwad, Robert Lalthamuana, Arnab Mondal, Deepak Mondal, Harmanjyot Singh Khabra, Mehtab Hossain, Joquim Abranches, Cavin Lobo, Baljit Singh Sahni, Ranty Martins.

Police AC: Jhantu Mondal, Satyajit Dutta, Eze Kingsley Obumneme, Amal Ghosh, Abhijit Sarkar, Samir Basu, Emmanuel Ini Oyoh, Nilkanta Paria, Prayashu Halder, Suraj Bahadur Gurung, V. Kivi Zhi Momi (Ujjal ghosh, 45 min).

Referee: Ranjit Bakshi.