Calcutta Football League 2019: Justice Morgan's injury-time winner stuns East Bengal | Match Report
East Bengal conceded a late goal to lose their first match of the Calcutta Football League against George Telegraph Sproting Club ehere at the club ground on Friday. After two wins from two matches, the Red and Golds run came to halt against a much inferior opponent.
With this, the Big Clubs of Kolkata Maidan failed to clinch all the three points from their opening match. After Mohun Bagan were stunned in the opening match by 0-3 against Peerless, Mohammeda Sporting were also held against Aryan Club by 1-1.
Justice Morgan scored the only goal of the match in the 93rd minutes of the match. George Telegraph, with this win, went on top of the table, claiming nine points from three matches.
STORY OF THE MATCH
East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez made eight changes in the team, on the line of his promise to rotate the players. The team had full of youngsters with only Marti Crespi remained as a foreigner. East Bengal no other foreigner option because of the rules of Indian Football Association (IFA).
The Red ad Golds made a positive start and Bidyasgar Singh could've broken the dead-lock in the 4th minute. Naorem Tondomba Singh's fre-kcik was deflected by a George defender and fell in front of him but Bidaysagar's shot went wide.
East Bengal maintained possession for most of the time but failed to make positive movements, quite contrary to their performance in the last match. George on the hand were looking for opportunities and Bablur Oraon's shot in the 16th minute went just over the crossbar.
In the 33rd minute, East Bengal custodian Rakshit Dagar almost made a blunder while clearing a ball but thanks to the defender the danger was averted.
Subhonil Ghosh perhaps missed the chance of the match when he wasted an opportunity from hand-shaking distance. Abhijit Sarkar, who got back his place in the team, made an inch-perfect low cross to Subhonil, who had only to one task, to put the ball into the back of the net. However, the youngster's shot went over the bar, much to the dissatisfaction of the packed gallery.
In order to change the scoreline of the match, East Bengal coach Menendez made two changes just five minutes into the second half. Pintu Mahata and PC Rohlupuia came in. Pintu, who stole the limelight in the last match with his performance, failed to maintain the rhythm this time.
George was also taking their opportunity but it was their strikers wasteful performance which refrained them from taking the lead.
As time went on, pressure was mounting on East Bengal players who could not break open the George defence. George coach Ranjan Bhattacharya's idea of creating jungle of legs in their penalty box proved successful.
East Bengal started to make all out attack during the last 10 minutes of the match. However, the defenders caught off-guard when George made counter-attacks and this led to the only goal of the match.
After getting a pass from the midfield, Morgan dodged two East Bengal defenders quite easily and his left-footed shot stunned Rakshit Dagar before going into the net.
It was overall a disappointing performance from the Red and Golds who produced impressive performance in their previous two matches. They badly missed a proper striker and the absence of Jaime Santos Colado meant they had no creativity in the attacking third.
Simultaneous matches in Durand Cup and CFL also proving to be a deterrent for the clubs, where coaches have no option but to rotate the squad. East Bengal have now played three matches within six days. But they will get some rest before taking on Bengaluru FC in their final Durand Cup group match on August 14.