I-League 2018-19: 3 reasons why East Bengal won against Churchill Brothers
After a hat-trick of losses, East Bengal have now registered three wins on the trot in the I-League, with the latest one coming against Churchill Brothers FC. East Bengal defeated the Goan side by 2-1 at Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Thursday.
After a pulsating Derby last Sunday, there was little time to recover, but Alejandro Menendez’s side ticked all the boxes and produced a magnificent display on the field.
It was the home side who got the lead in the third minute of the match through former red and gold player Willis Plaza. East Bengal didn’t let the momentum slip from their hands and tried to look for an equaliser.
It came in 35th-minute courtesy a fine goal from new recruit Jaime Santos, who scored his debut goal for the club.
After pressing hard in the second half, East Bengal got the lead thanks to a brilliantly taken free-kick from captain Lalrindika Ralte.
The win helped East Bengal to climb up to the second position with 15 points from eight matches, three behind league leaders Chennai City.
Churchill have lost their first home match and second successive overall to remain at the fifth position.
Let us analyse the three reasons behind East Bengal’s win:
#3 Defence keeps Churchill players away
East Bengal conceded in the second minute what was a howler not from the goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar but from everyone in defence.
Dawda Cessay crossed from the left flank between Samad Ali Mullick and Johnny Acosta and none of them tried to intercept it.
Borja Gomez too was caught off guard as Willis Plaza came from behind, received the ball and calmly slotted home. All of sudden Churchill took the lead and East Bengal were behind.
But credit goes to the defenders who learned from their mistakes and kept their shape well throughout the match.
East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez deployed Samad as a right-back instead of regular starter Lalram Chullova.
Samad was initially struggling to keep Cessay under control but found his rhythm soon. Later on, he worked so hard and never allowed an opponent to run down the line.
Borja and Acosta too kept their shape in the second half and amid incessant attacks from Churchill players, there was no danger afterward.
But concern remains with Dagar. East Bengal has already suffered casualties due to goalkeeping mistakes and one would only hope that nothing untoward happens further.