I-League 2018-19: Quess East Bengal FC vs Churchill Brothers FC Goa - Willis Plaza dents the title hopes for the Red & Golds
Full Time: Quess East Bengal FC 1-1 Churchill Brothers FC Goa
Scorer: Willis Plaza (68') for CB, Kassim Aidara (78') for QEB
Hero of the Match: Lalrindika Ralte (QEB)
'Kolkata Giants' East Bengal failed to sustain their winning run against Churchill Brothers FC Goa as the match ended 1-1 undecided at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Salt Lake on Sunday. After their massive 5-0 win against Shillong Lajong FC at home, the Red and Golds couldn't utilize the opportunity to match the league leaders Chennai City FC in the points table with a win, in the Hero I-League 2018-19.
Currently, Chennai City FC are topping the league table with 34 points from 16 matches, whereas Quess East Bengal FC have climbed up to the second position after today's encounter, with 32 points from their 16 outings.
Four changes were made in the starting XI of the Churchill Brothers FC Goa by coach Petre Gigiu, which held the another Kolkata Giants, Mohun Bagan AC 1-1 in their last match. On the other hand, Quess East Bengal FC coach Alejandro Menéndez made no change to his side which outplayed Shillong Lajong FC 5-0 in their last encounter at home.
The deadlock could be broken early by Chesterpaul Lyngdoh for the visitors, as he got a chance to score in the 14th minute of the match. Lyngdoh received the ball from the Churchill skipper inside the box, which he pushed above the crossbar.
Toni Dovale got the golden opportunity to score for the Red and Golds in the 44th minute of the match as he took a shot towards goal from Enrique Esqueda's pinpoint square pass. Churchill goalie Vigneshwaran Baskaran made an outstanding save to deny Toni Dovale from getting his first goal for his side.
Willis Deon Plaza scored his 18th goal in this season's Hero I-League 2018-19 against his former club today, spoiling the title hopes for the Red and Golds as he found the back of the net in the 68th minute of the match. Plaza pushed the ball into the net from a through ball sent by Nicholas Fernandes.
Ten minutes later, the Red and Golds became successful in securing at least one point at their home, when Kassim Aidara equalized the scoreline for his side from an extraordinary free-kick sent by Lalrindika Ralte.
A single point from today's match was definitely not enough to keep Alejandro Menéndez's men in the comfort zone as it's been tougher for them to clinch the Hero I-League 2018-19 title since 2004.