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East Bengal pay penalty

Kerala FC first equalised in the dying minutes, securing a Durand Cup final berth

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 21.08.19, 09:24 PM
Marcus Joseph and Ubaid CK on Wednesday

Marcus Joseph and Ubaid CK on Wednesday Santosh Ghosh

The penalty in the third minute of injury-time of the second half gave a feeling that heartbreak was in store for East Bengal.

And it turned out to be so in the end, as Kerala FC first equalised in the dying minutes to make it 1-1 before prevailing 3-2 in shoot-out, at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday, securing a Durand Cup final berth.


Things started to go awry for Alejandro Menendez Garcia’s men from the latter stages of the second half.

Intially, it seemed as if fortune was on East Bengal’s side, who were given an early lead by Samad Ali Mallik with his outstanding right-footed long ranger.

But just as it appeared that Kerala FC were on way out, Mehtab Singh fouled Henry Kisekka well inside the box after the latter was set up by substitute Bruno Pelissari.

Referee Tejas Nagvenkar pointed to the dreaded spot at once, Mehtab was rightly sent off and Marcus Joseph was calm enough to slot it home.

East Bengal, reduced to 10 men, somehow survived two halves of extra-time. Just somehow, as the likes of Marcus, Kisekka and Pelissari churned out one move after another.

East Bengal did manage to drag the game till shoot-out, but it was more or less over for them when their captain Lalrindika Ralte and Jaime Colado failed to score off the first two shots.

For Kerala FC, Malemnganba Meitei too missed, but Pelissari, Jestin George and Lalromawia were on target, before goalkeeper Ubaid CK saved Tondomba Singh Naorem’s shot to confirm their team’s victory in the first semi-final.

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