| One of East Bengal’s new Brazilian recruits Daniel Gil (left) is challenged by a Dempo defender at Ambedkar Stadium on Monday. A Telegraph picture
New Delhi: If the East Bengal fans at the Ambedkar Stadium on Monday looked a disappointed lot, it was not because their favourite side escaped by the skin of their teeth to earn only a goalless draw against Goa’s Dempo Sports Club in the Durand Cup quarter final league match.
What really disheartened the East Bengal fans in the stands was the performance of the club’s two Brazilian recruits on the opening day. Both Daniel Gil and Thiago Ferreira struggled to find their bearings and hardly had any contribution to the team’s cause. The duo will now have to do something extraordinary in the next two matches to come in the league phase to win the confidence of the club supporters and officials.
Among the two, Daniel could still get the pass marks as he constantly moved around in the middle to stay in touch with the proceedings. Thiago, who started as the lone striker, looked lost and the Dempo defenders had a rather easy time in containing him. Both were also culprits of providing too many miss passes.
But then, it would be unfair to put the entire blame on the two Brazilians for East Bengal ’s total ‘flop-show.’ The rest in the East Bengal ranks played listless football. All they did was to earn three yellow cards and the marching orders to Dipankar Roy, which reduced the Calcutta side to 10 men for the last 42 minutes.
Roy had no escape route. He kicked Clifford Miranda off the ball and referee K. Shankar showed him the door immediately. As it is, Dempo were having the upper hand then. After Roy ’s exit, Goans looked a rampaging lot.
East Bengal were clearly lucky not to concede at least two goals in the next 10 minutes.
Dempo coach Armando Colaco admitted it was a failure on his team’s part not to get three points. “We had every opportunity to win it after East Bengal were reduced to 10 men. We floored it,” he said.
It could have been even worse for Dempo had substitute Vimal Pariyar struck from the only positive chance East Bengal had. The through pass from Chandan Das was defence splitting leaving goalkeeper Satishkumar at Pariyar’s mercy. The striker just shot out. Having sent their sharpest shooter Alvito D’Cunha to the bench for reporting late, East Bengal couldn’t have expected any better.
East Bengal: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Vincent Pires, M. Suresh and Gurpreet Singh; Dipankar Roy, Jayanta Sen (Bibiano Fernandes 61st), Chandan Das, Harpreet Saini (Vimal Pariyar 46th), Soumik Dey and Daniel Gil; Thiago Ferreira (Freddy Mascarenhas 75th).
Dempo: Satishkumar; Mazek Bolaji, John Dias and Samir Naik; Jerry Zirsanga (Isfaq Ahmed 83rd), Valeriano Rebelo, Robert ‘Beto’ Silva, Clifford Miranda and Nascimento Silva; Anthony Pereira (Joaquim Abrahanches 78th) and Ranty Martins.
Referee: K. Shankar.
Army XI hold JCT
The days’s other match between defending champions Army XI and JCT also ended goalless.
Meanwhile, Dempo’s Climax Lawrence will have to join the Indian squad in Dubai instead of playing for Dempo in the Durand Cup.
Tuesday’s matches: Sporting Clube de Goa vs Air India (1pm); Mohun Bagan vs Mahindra United (3pm).