East Bengal had never defeated Churchill Brothers at home in the last seven years, and as they took to the field today they had the thought of overcoming that particular draught, as the visitors have been on awful form this season.
Churchill Brothers had lost their first three games in the I-League and had not scored a single goal. Coach Khalid Jamil would have loved the fact that the the Red and Golds were playing Churchill now.
The game, though, started in a very different manner with Churchill attacking brilliantly through the likes of Israil Gurung and Uttam Rai. Churchill also opened their account when Israil Gurung brilliantly laid off a ball to Peter Omoduemuke who brilliantly placed the ball in the top left corner to give Churchill the lead.
As the saying goes you are most vulnerable when you have just scored again came true today, when East Bengal almost immediately equalised through Danmawia, who was brilliantly assisted by Wills Plaza. East Benga,l from then on, completely took hold of the game and exerted full control. They took the lead just before the halftime break when Wills Plaza converted a Katsumi Yusa cross from two yards out.
The second half started with both the teams trying to gain an upper hand in the midfield. Churchill Brother equalised through Nicholas, who made the most of a defensive error by Prakash Sarkar. Wills Plaza scored the winner for East Bengal with the last touch of the game as he headed home from a Katsumi Yusa corner.
East Bengal defeated Churchill 3-2, it was a special win of sorts for East Bengal given that they defeated Churchill in Kolkata after 7 years.
On that note, we take a look at how the players performed in today’s game
Mirshad (6/10): Mirshad made some good saves during the first half, but he could have done better during the second goal as Nicholas chipped it over his head. Overall, Mirshad still needs to work harder to be given the tag of a dependable keeper.
Prakash Sarkar (5.5/10): Prakash will have trouble sleeping today, as it was his mistake in clearing a regular ball that allowed Churchill to equalise, the other thing that will keep him will be that fusion of cross-shot which beat James but went on to hit the post.
Arnab Mondal (6/10): Arnab didn’t have the best of games compared to his usual high standards, as he was seen having problems trying to keep Uttam Rai quiet. He also looked shaky while dealing with aerial balls, something which will be a matter of concern for Khalid Jamil.
Eduardo (6.5/10): Did a good job of keeping Obinna quiet. He also ventured forward with the ball and helped East Bengal build up attacks from the back.
Salam Ranjan (7/10): Salam had a solid game at left back. He is getting used to his new position and he did his defensive duties perfectly and put in some brilliant crosses into the box. Salam also did a good job of covering for his peers' mistakes.
Bazzou (6/10): Bazzou had an average outing today. He did well to win a lot of second balls but his distribution and link up play was not up to the desired standards.
Cavin Lobo (6.5/10): Lobo had a good game of sorts. He instigated a lot of creative moves and tracked back very well to help out the defenders.He also made some very good tackles.
Danmawia (7/10): The Mizo lad scored the equaliser for East Bengal in the first half. He made some daunting runs down the right wing and put in some delicious cross for his strikers.
Katsumi Yusa (7/10): Katsumi provided the all-important assists for Wills Plaza, but overall he didn’t have the best of games, as much more is expected from him. His set pieces and crosses though were of top quality today.
Al Amna (7.5/10): Al Amna ran his heart out. He also did his offensive and defensive duties with conviction. He played some delicious passes for his forwards.
Wills Plaza (7/10): The curious case of Wills Plaza only gets stronger. Even though he scored two, he missed way too many chances to be given the tag of having a good game.