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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

East Bengal FC crash out of Super Cup

Aizawl FC get their first point, much deserved for all grit they have shown in tournament

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 18.04.23, 06:14 AM
Sumit Passi (centre) of East Bengal scores against Aizawl FC on Monday.

Sumit Passi (centre) of East Bengal scores against Aizawl FC on Monday. Picture courtesy: East Bengal

East Bengal crashed out of the Super Cup after a 2-2 draw against Aizawl FC in a Group B clash at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri on Monday. The draw meant East Bengal were knocked out without registering a single win in the competition. Aizawl got their first point, much deserved for all the grit they have shown in the tournament.

Naorem Mahesh Singh and Sumeet Passi put East Bengal in front, but two goals from Aizawl FC in quick succession knocked the Calcutta club out of the competition.

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Odisha FC entered the knockout stage from the group defeating Hyderabad FC 2-1.

Mahesh Singh was the driving force of East Bengal’s attack for the majority of the match and it was the India international who found the opener in the 17th minute.

Brilliantly played through by Cleiton Silva, Mahesh cut inside the box before crossing the ball to the centre of the area. His cross caught a wicked deflection though, ending up in the Aizawl goal.

Moments later, midfielder Mobashir Rahman had a golden opportunity to extend the lead. He received a loose ball just outside the edge of the box but ended up shooting over the crossbar.

Five minutes after the opener, East Bengal had doubled their lead. From a VP Suhair cross, Sumeet Passi rose the highest to head it into an empty net after Aizawl FC goalkeeper Vanlalhriatpuia got his angles wrong in an attempt to punch the ball clear.

At the time, a rout looked in the offing. Stephen Constantine’s side was not just dominant on the ball but menacing and adventurous with it too.

Right before half time though reality struck. Aizawl pulled one back against the run of play. Defender Akito Saito ran upfield before releasing a through pass to David Lalhlansanga. David made the most of the pass and took a shot from a narrow angle. Kamaljit saved the initial attempt but the rebound fell straight to Lalhruaitluanga, who kept his composure to pull one back.

If that wasn’t enough, minutes after the restart Aizawl drew level. Japanese defender Saito’s long ball into the East Bengal penalty box was cleared neatly by Kamaljit.

The keeper had rushed off his line to kick the ball clear, and ensure Aizawl didn’t run through, but his clearance fell straight to David 40 yards from the goal.

The forward took his shot and it sailed in, to the astonishment of almost everyone in the stadium.

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