I-League 2014-15: East Bengal manage a 2-2 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa
East Bengal gave away a 2-0 lead to salvage just a point from a crucial home tie against Sporting Clube de Goa. Ranti Martins scored the opening goal of the match in the 30th minute. The Nigerian increased the lead in the 60th minute from a spectacular free-kick. Sporting Clube de Goa’s captain Anthony Wolfe pulled one back in the 63rd minute. Wolfe restored parity in the 77th minute.
Eelco Schattorie fielded almost an unchanged starting XI from their AFC Cup game against Balestier Khalsa. Only Joachim Abranches made way for Lalrindika Ralte. He gambled by keeping India international Arnab Mondal on the bench.
East Bengal dominated proceedings in the first half. They attacked more and kept the pressure on the opponent’s defense.
Odafa Okolie made his debut for the Flaming Oranje. Okolie was kept under strict vigilance by Milan Susak and remained ineffective for the entire first half. East Bengal attacked more but their long ball game did not prove to be much effective.
After a boring half hour of game, the home side finally found something to rejoice when Ranti Martins scored a superb goal. Milan Susak unleashed a long ball from the centre circle which was met by Martins. The Nigerian trapped the ball and scored with a half turn confusing his marker.
Sporting won a free-kick in the dying moments of the first half. Odafa attempted a curler, but it got deflected off the East Bengal wall.
Eelco Schattorie made two changes at the beginning of the second half. He brought in Harmanjyot Khabra and Arnab Mondal in place of Mohammad Rafique and Raju Gaikwad respectively.
Around the hour mark, East Bengal won a free-kick. Ranti Martins curled a spectacular shot which found the back of the net. East Bengal was looking steady and were ready to pick up a home win. Sporting looked desperate to salvage a point.
Three minutes later after Ranti’s goal, Anthony Wolfe picked up a lucky goal. Cajetan Fernandes took a long free-kick which was met by Odafa. The Nigerian headed the ball towards Wolfe who jolted a shot. Deepak Mondal tried to clear the ball but it went inside from his deflection.
In the 77th minute, Anthony Wolfe picked yet another goal from Odafa’s curling cross from the right flank.
East Bengal failed to manage three points even after going ahead by two goals. Sporting Clube de Goa, on the other hand will benefit from this point as they will now move up from the rock-bottom position.