Dudu Omagbemi’s late winner consolidated the all important 3 points for East Bengal in the second match of the Hero Federation Cup.
Royal Wahingdoh dominated the initial few minutes. They looked more positive in their approach and created better chances. Santosh Kashyap’s men came close to score their opening goal of the match as early as in the 3rd minute. Subhashish Roychowdhury’s feeble goal kick was intercepted in the midfield. Royal Wahingdoh’s JackieChand Singh got the opportunity and jolted a shot but the East Bengal custodian was instrumental in saving the goal.
The immediate next minute the Shillong side got yet another opportunity to take the lead but yet again Roychowdhury’s brilliance saved the Kolkata outfit. Around the 15th minute mark, Royal Wahingdoh’s Lalmagai Singh was sent off due to a harsh challenge on Abhishek Das.
Since then East Bengal came back to the match strongly and dominated the rest of the half. East Bengal’s first positive chance came in the 21st minute when Lalrindika’s cross was headed by Dudu, but Wahingdoh’s custodian saved it.
East Bengal’s major weakness was in their left back position where Raju Gaikwad miserably failed. He failed to adapt to his new position and spoiled quite a few positive chances. Ranti Martins missed the easiest opportunity in the injury time when failed to score from 3 yards outside the goal.
East Bengal continued their domination in the second half. Ten men Royal Wahingdoh opted for a defensive strategy. East Bengal continued their dominance but failed to create positive chances. Armando Colaco substituted Lalrindika Ralte and fielded Baljit Singh Sahni to add pace to their game.
Joachim Abranches replaced Cavin Lobo in the 70th minute. Joachim’s inclusion added finesse to East Bengal’s game but the Nigerian duo of Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbemi failed to convert chances. Jackichand Singh got an opportunity in the 88th minute from a counter attack but failed to convert an easy sitter. Finally the all important goal came in the dying moments of match when Dudu Omagbemi headed home from Joachim Abranches’ cross.
East Bengal’s game was not at all impressive and convincing. Their strikers failed to convert easy chances. A lucky goal sealed their victory but their performance will raise quite a few eyebrows.Published 31 Dec 2014, 21:49 IST