Calcutta Football League 2018: The title race has become very tough for us, says East Bengal coach Bastab Roy after the loss to Peerless

Bastab Roy (right) during the post-match press conference

A disappointing display from East Bengal handed them a 1-2 defeat against Peerless in the crucial Calcutta Football League fixture on Thursday evening. Failing to grab a single point for the first time this season, the red and gold brigade is almost out of the contention for the championship.

“The league has now become very tough for to win. I personally feel that we have a chance until the end. I am happy with the players' performance. They always try to give their 100 per cent,” said East Bengal coach Bastab Roy at the post-match press conference.

He added, “We missed a lot of chances in the first half if we had converted those; we could have won the match in the first half. We conceded the goal against the run of play; the first goal was due to a misunderstanding by a defender. After that, we failed to make a comeback, which happens. We fielded the best playing XI but we lost. We have to accept the defeat.”

Former East Bengal player Ansumanah Kromah gave the visitors a lead in the 6th minute of the match which was a bitter pill to swallow for the 39-time winners. Although East Bengal created quite a few openings in the first half, they never converted one. Kromah got injured in the 25th minute, and since then, Peerless was on the back foot, but they managed to hold on to the lead.

It was Kasim Aidara who made it even in the 72nd minute after he connected a cross from the left. The lead lasted for just 6 minutes; Naro Hari Shrestha’s long-ranger deflected off an East Bengal defender and made its way into the goal. Peerless defended well in the last quarter of the match to register a memorable victory.

Mohun Bagan remains at the top of the standings with 23 points from 9 matches, while East Bengal has collected 20 in the same number of matches. A win against Calcutta Customs will ensure Mohun Bagan’s first CFL title since 2009. On the other hand, East Bengal’s hopes will rekindle only if Mohun Bagan loses points in their remaining two matches.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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