Heartbreak for fans after another failure

Around 4000 fans had turned up on the club premises to watch the match on the giant screen

By A Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 10.03.19, 2:41 AM
  • Updated 10.03.19, 2:41 AM
  • a min read
  •  
East Bengal fans at the club tent. A Telegraph picture

Heartbreak once again…

That was the mood at the Quess East Bengal club after news crept in that Chennai scored their third goal and it was not Minerva Punjab FC who made it 2-2 on Saturday evening.

Around 4000 fans had turned up on the club premises to watch the match on the giant screen. Hundreds stationed themselves on the lawn and those who did not find space there, made the roof of the tent as the vantage point. Others were at the gallery finding the top-view more enticing.

Every move was greeted with a roar and each time East Bengal missed a chance there was a cry of despair. Still they did not lose heart. Chennai were trailing 0-1, East Bengal looking for a goal… The game was on.

After half-time, it was all happening and that too very fast… Chennai had equalised in the 56th minute thanks to Pedro Manzi and then in the 69th minute Gaurav Bora put Akbar Nawas’s team ahead in Coimbatore. On the other hand, Marcus Joseph put Kerala FC ahead in Kozhikode. There was complete silence.

But Jaime Colado made it 1-1 and in the 75th Laldanmawia Ralte gave East Bengal the lead. For East Bengal to win the title, Minerva Punjab had to score.

As everyone was trying his best to know the latest from Coimbatore, there was a roaring rumour that Chennai have conceded. But as expected, it turned out be a hoax. “Playing with our emotions,” a young fan complained.

The clock was ticking… Reality soon dawned upon East Bengal fans that the I-League would remain elusive. After the final whistle, some fans broke down.

Former East Bengal player Alvito D’Cunha said: “They showed great character in the second half of the I-League. But I think the draw against Churchill Brothers and Aizawl FC cost the team dear.”