I-League: East Bengal vs Churchill Brothers - 5 Talking Points

The two sides played out a thrilling encounter (Photo: I-League)
The two sides played out a thrilling encounter (Photo: I-League)
Nived Zenith

East Bengal emerged victorious against Churchill Brothers in an entertaining 3-2 win at the Barasat Stadium today. The Red and Gold brigade came into the match in scintillating form having beaten Shillong Lajong (5-1) in their last outing in the league and faced a rather depleted Churchill side who are still at the bottom of the table searching for their first points of the season.

It was the visitors who started the game on the front foot and they were rightfully rewarded for their continued efforts on goal in the 15th minute when Israil Gurung selflessly passed the ball to Peter Omuduemuke for the opening goal. East Bengal were quick to respond and pulled things back through Laldanmawia Ralte in the very next minute and Willis Plaza made it 2-1 shortly before halftime.

The second half witnessed even more drama as Nicholas Fernandes put Churchill back on equal terms in the 60th minute. East Bengal dominated the proceedings from there on but were consistently kept out by the heroics of James Kithan in the visitor's goal.

However, Khalid Jamil's men were finally rewarded for their constant pressure in the dying moments of the game when Plaza headed home the winner in the 96th minute, to send the home fans into a delirium of noise. Here are the five key talking points from the game:

#5 East Bengal break the jinx

Plaza and Ralte got on the score sheet for East Bengal (Photo: I-League)
Plaza and Ralte got on the score sheet for East Bengal (Photo: I-League)

Before the ball was kicked at the Barasat stadium, East Bengal had never managed to beat Churchill Brothers at home since 2010 - a jinx stretching back to seven years when the sides met in the I-League.

The corresponding fixture last season also went Churchill's way and it almost seemed like history would repeat itself only for Plaza, an unlikely hero during the build-up to this game, to turn their fortunes.

However, East Bengal were made to work hard throughout the game and their patience was tested to the limits before they could snatch the three points, an effort Churchill can be really proud about. 

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Edited by Nived Zenith

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