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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs East Bengal ISL: Poor defending lets East Bengal down

Carles Cuadrat’s red-and-gold brigade were again ahead in the 55th minute but Bagan refused to give up and made it 2-2 in the 87th minute

Angshuman Roy Calcutta Published 04.02.24, 11:13 AM
East Bengal’s Cleiton Silva makes it 2-1 from the spot against Mohun Bagan Super Giant during the ISL-X derby at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

East Bengal’s Cleiton Silva makes it 2-1 from the spot against Mohun Bagan Super Giant during the ISL-X derby at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. Santosh Ghosh

East Bengal led twice only to throw away the advantage as Mohun Bagan Super Giant salvaged a 2-2 draw in the ISL-X derby at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

The first goal came in the third minute, but Bagan drew level in the 17th minute. Carles Cuadrat’s red-and-gold brigade were again ahead in the 55th minute but Bagan refused to give up and made it 2-2 in the 87th minute.

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East Bengal should blame themselves for not recording their second derby win in 15 days. On both occasions, it was defender Lal Chungnunga who botched up.

First, he allowed Armando Sadiku to volley home and then slipped at the wrong time and Dimitri Petratos volleyed home. Defender Hijazi Maher also was in a benevolent mood as he failed to clear the ball after Chungnunga was left sprawling on the ground.

Before the ISL took a break in December, Cuadrat had managed to strengthen the defence as rivals found it difficult to score. But strangely on Saturday, time and again the East Bengal defence stuttered. They were lucky that Bagan could not capitalise on the mistakes. Once defender Mohamed Rakip could not deal with a centre from the right and Bagan’s Sadiku had a clear sight of the goal. In haste, he volleyed over.

East Bengal took the lead as early as in the third minute. Nishu Kumar from the left sent a centre and Ajay Chhetri stabbed it home before a lunging Brendan Hamill could clear the ball.

Bagan did not have to wait long for the equaliser. In the 17th minute, Armando Sadiku’s right-footed shot from the centre of the box beat East Bengal goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill. Sadiku smartly guided a Kiyan Nassiri delivery from the right even as Lal Chungnunga was breathing down his neck.

East Bengal again took the lead in the 55th minute. Naorem Mahesh Singh was fouled by Deepak Tangri inside the box and referee Rahul Kumar Gupta rightly pointed to the dreaded box. Brazilian striker and captain Cleiton Silva’s penalty kick fooled Bagan keeper Vishal Kaith who had dived to his left.

Bagan made it 2-2 in the 87th minute. Sahal Abdul Samad’s low centre from the left made Chungnunga lose his footing. Hijazi also faltered and Petratos, not someone who lets go of such opportunities, banged it home. He turned towards jubilant Bagan supporters and his teammates came rushing. East Bengal did not know what had hit them.

Bagan remain in fifth position in the ISL table with 20 points, while East Bengal rose one spot to seventh with 12 points.

Anwar injury

Playing his first match in more than three months, Bagan defender Anwar Ali was substituted in the 13th minute after suffering a likely hamstring injury on his left leg. Anwar missed a glut of matches after the ankle injury on October 24 last year during an AFC Cup match.

On Saturday, as the 23-year-old defender clutched his hamstring, Amandeep Vrish Bhan replaced him.

East Bengal’s Naorem Mahesh Singh also picked up what looked like a head injury and was taken to hospital.

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