I-League 2017: East Bengal vs Aizawl FC, Player Ratings
East Bengal opened their I-League campaign against Aizawl FC, last season champions, at the majestic Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, in what was a homecoming game of sorts for the Red and Golds.
The match started at a blistering pace with East Bengal attacking through the right flanks more. Wills Plaza could have given the hosts a 2-0 lead within 13 minutes, had he not missed a couple of sitters. Aizawl, on the other hand, looked more dangerous with every set piece they got.
The midfield battle between Alfred and Amna, both teammates last season, also lit up the game as the two players tried to outplay each other.
The second half started with East Bengal pressing their foot on the gas and trying to break the deadlock. Within the first 20 minutes of the first half, East Bengal could have amassed a three-goal lead had Avilash Paul not made some mind-blowing saves.
Eventually, East Bengal let go of a two-goal lead as Aizawl came back from 2-0 down to level the scores at 2-2. Here, we take a look at how all the players performed during the match.
Mirshad (6.5): Mirshad didn’t have to do much during the game. When called into action, though, he pulled off some brilliant saves towards the dying moments of the game. Though he could have done more during the second goal, Aizawl scored
Eduardo (7): Scored East Bengal’s first goal of the season. However, he was at fault when Aizawl scored their late equaliser.
Salam Ranjan (6.5): Looked solid during the game, but was shaky during defending set-plays.
Chullova (6): Chullova couldn’t venture forward much, and his defending to was also not up to the mark.
Deepak Kumar (6.5): The East Bengal left back did a good job in keeping the Aizawl wingers at bay, but he was left wanting when going forward. Except for making one good cross, he skied all the other opportunities he had to put in a good cross
Bajo (7.5): He was brilliant in breaking up Aizawl’s game and constantly won back possession for East Bengal. He also helped them win a lot of second balls.
Amna (6.5): Amna put in all he had, but looked a shade below his usual self. He made some wrong choices while playing the final pass.
Katsumi (8.5): Scoring on his East Bengal debut, Katsumi was lively all throughout the game. He cut in from the flanks and drifted wide whenever needed. He also scored a very unlikely goal to give East Bengal a 2-0 lead in the second half.
Rafique (7.5): Rafique was also brilliant today in the centre of the pitch. He proved a point to everyone who questioned why is he so highly rated by Indian national team coach Stephen Constantine.
Brandon (6.5): Even though Brandon provided the crucial assist for the first goal, he could have done a lot better on the flanks as his crosses were left wanting a lot of times. He also didn’t track back properly and help out his defence.
Plaza (6.5): Had brilliant chances to give East Bengal a three-goal lead. Plaza was at fault for missing some sitters during the game. He did look lively, beating the likes of Masih and Kareem but his end product was poor. Some might even blame him for East Bengal just getting a point of the game.