I-League 2018/19: East Bengal's new Spanish coach to arrive shortly along with a striker
East Bengal narrowly edged past Rainbow AC 1-0 in a closely fought Calcutta Football League fixture on Sunday evening in front of a packed crowd at their club ground. Chullova’s 25th-minute strike from the spot sealed the deal for the Kolkata giants. Meanwhile, East Bengal officials made important announcements regarding their foreign recruits, including Spanish manager Alejandro Menendez.
The first chance of the match against Rainbow AC came in the 20th minute, midfielder Kamalpreet Singh’ cross fell perfectly for Jobby Justin but the striker was off target. Five minutes later, a challenge on East Bengal’s Surrabuddun Mollick caught the attention of the referee and he pointed to the spot. Chullova’s penalty kick brushed Rainbow FC goalkeeper’s gloves and made its way into the net.
The second half was a fiercely contested one, with Rainbow FC producing the lion’s share of the attack. Foreigner Penn Orji and Joel Sunday created problems for the East Bengal defence.
Sujoy Dutta’s left footed shot was saved by Rakshit Dagar just in time; otherwise, the match could have easily ended as a draw. Rainbow AC missed a sitter in the dying minutes of the match, the hosts held their nerves till the end and secured three vital points.
Alejandro Menendez, who is likely to take over as the coach of the red and gold brigade for the upcoming 2018-19 I-League season will arrive soon as per the verdict of club official Debabrata Sarkar. “The matter is still in process, we are unaware of the exact date of his arrival. We will let you know if new updates take place,” said Sarkar at the club tent following East Bengal’s match against Rainbow AC.
The 52-year old manager has previously worked with clubs like Celta Vigo and Racing Santander. His biggest achievement was probably working with Real Madrid’s ‘B’ team or better known as Real Madrid Castilla from 2009 to 2011. On the other hand, a striker is also set to join the unit, but his arrival at the club depends on the Spanish coach who is looking into the matter. Regarding the matter, Sarkar said, “We are in talks with him (striker), the process is being delayed as the coach (Alejandro) is looking into the matter.”
Meanwhile, Quess East Bengal football club also announced the signing of 30-year old Spanish defender Borja Gomez Perez. Having made his professional debut for AD Alcorcon, he played for other clubs like Rayo Vallecano, Granada CF, Hercules and Real Murcia.
The much-awaited debut of Johnny Acosta has been delayed; East Bengal is still awaiting approval from Colombia’s football governing body. “The (transfer) process has been completed from our end, but the Colombian Football Federation has still not given an approval on the matter,” said Debabrata Sarkar. Acosta was playing for the Colombian club Rionegro Aguilas before he was roped in by the ‘Maidan’ based club.