CFL 2018: East Bengal vs Calcutta Customs - 5 Talking Points
A gritty and resilient Calcutta Customs defence proved that taking the weaker teams lightly can prove expensive as East Bengal were held to a goalless draw by the Departmental side which sees them lurk behind arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the Calcutta Football League 2018.
The I-League side was abysmal going upfront as their forwards were not upto the mark when it came to finishing the chances away for goals. Customs heavy marked all of East Bengal's strike force and midfield, not allowing an inch of space for the Red and Golds to exploit.
Let us look at the most intriguing parts of the game and analyse the same :
#5 Wasteful East Bengal Forward line
One of the biggest reasons for East Bengal's loss of two points in the game was the dismal performance by the forwards upfront. Bali Gagandeep misses several sitters from areas where any player will score on a given day.
Brandon Vanlalremdika and Lalrindika Ralte were also not upto the mark going forward. Lalrindika failed to guide two headers on to the target from aerial balls early in the first half while Brandon Vanlalremdika's miss from point blank range at the cusp of the full time whistle will go down as one of the Bizarre misses of the season for sure.
East Bengal had everything on their side today sans the goals. Such shoddy finishing upfront could hurt East Bengal's aspirations of ten CFL titles on a trot.
#4 Gritty Customs defence
The highlight of today's game was the buoyant and resolute Calcutta Customs defence. Customs minutely man-marked each and every East Bengal player, not allowing even an inch of space to exploit in the final third.
The back four comprising of Sourav Das, Sourav Dasgupta, Souvik Bal and Samuel Kane thwarted several attempts on goal for safety. Sourav Das's goal-line clearance of Bali Gagandeep's feeble attempt in the final moments of the game stands out as one of the most captivating moments of the clash.
Samuel Kane's towering structure helped Customs take care of most of East Bengal's aerial threat through crosses, free-kicks and corners and orchestrate the counter-attacks by feeding Eze Stanley.
#3 Goalkeepers at top of their form
If goals were not part of the game, rather than inculpating the forwards, the goalkeepers at both the ends deserve the eulogize. Experienced Campaigner Rakshit Dagar (East Bengal) and Suvam Sen (Calcutta Customs) were on top of their forms going into the game.
Suvam Sen pulled off some amazing saves particularly him parrying away the venomous volley Lalrindika Ralte blasted on him from close range in the first half. Sen stood tall and calmly fisted the ball over the crossbar to deny what would have been a goal to remember for a long long time.
Dagar's moment of the game was when he denied Eze Stanley twice from distance by parrying the shot over the bar on both the occasions at both sides of the break.
#2 Bidyasagar fails to impress
After a palatial IFA Shield and U18 Y-League Campaign, Bidyasagar Singh also known as Tetepuia has come manifold ahead in his career. An East Bengal Academy Graduate, Tetepuia has caught the eye of the fans in Kolkata.
His pace and agility down the right flank troubled all the sides he played against in the previous finish. His ability to execute quick one-touch play with the other right wing players on the pitch makes him extra special.
Bidyasagar made his senior team debut in the CFL 2018 game with West Bengal Police. Bidyasagar impressed the scouts and the fans with his quick runs and pinpoint passes. However, that was not to be the case in today's encounter as he was easily brushed aside by Customs' defenders Souvik Bal and Sourav Dasgupta. He was dispossessed off the ball on numerous occasions, something the young speedster needs to work on.
He was eventually subbed off at the break and was replaced by Mahmoud Al-Amna.
#1 Fans fail to rally behind the team
Kolkata Maidan is known for its love for the game. Almost each and every game so far at the Maidan in the Calcutta Football League - Premier A Division has been a sell out. This was the case on Friday as well. There were more than 19,000 spectators in the ground today, a slight increase from the 16,000 present in the previous encounter.
However, the fans failed to make an impact on the performance of the team. The stand despite being full to its brim sounded empty and dull. There was absolutely no noise from the stands to induce a sense of 'keeping the fight on' into the players.
The popular supporters movement, East Bengal Ultras were also not at their best which was surprising as the Bengal Brigade, as they like to call themselves was not at their best today.