Al Amna & Yusa on target for EB
Victory helps team consolidate position at top of the table
New Delhi: Two early goals by Mahmoud Al Amna and Katsumi Yusa saw East Bengal stay on top of I-League table with a 2-0 victory over Indian Arrows, on Tuesday.
While Katsumi's goal in the 15th minute was a beauty, a brilliant display of individual skills, the goal from Amna three minutes earlier, should have been stopped by Arrows goalkeeper Prabhusukhan Gill.
The young custodian made some good saves later, but his initial mistake proved costly for the team.
Amna was undoubtedly the best player on view at the Ambedkar Stadium on Tuesday and the livewire of East Bengal attacks. Pity many of his through passes were wasted by his colleagues in the second half. He was adjudged the Man of the Match.
The Syrian put East Bengal in the lead in the 12th minute off a free kick on the left edge of the box. He took a measured shot at the near post where the goalkeeper was standing and Prabhusukhan, to the horror of his teammates, let the ball go past him.
Before Arrows could recover from the shock, Katsumi struck a fine goal after receiving the cross from the left by Laldanmawla Ralte. The Japanese striker took a shot that swerved in the air and dipped into the corner of the net.
Apart from the two goals, East Bengal, who now have 17 points from eight matches, did little in the match. Perhaps, their coach Khalid Jamil also did not want his team to exert any further. "Two goals were enough," he said after the match.
Amna had to be stretchered out late in the second half, but the star player said there was nothing to be worried about. "I suffered from cramps... It should be okay soon," he said.
Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos made half a dozen changes from the team that played in the 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan.
While goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh's exit from the team proved a crucial factor, the absence of Amarjit Singh and Jeakson Singh left the midfield rudderless.
Matos introduced Suresh Singh in the midfield in the second half. It did improve things but East Bengal were too experienced to let the advantage go.
There was hardly any pressure on the East Bengal defence except once when Edmund Lalrindika created a chance.
While Khalid said he wasn't too impressed by Arrows, Matos said Mohun Bagan were a better side. "Both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are experienced side though both are too dependent on foreign players. I was more impressed by Mohun Bagan," said the Portuguese coach, whose team now have seven points from seven matches.