I-League: United SC 1-1 East Bengal - Kolkata giants drop points as United SC make spirited comeback
A moment of lapse in concentration cost East Bengal dear as United Sporting club came back to equalize through a set-piece after Edeh Chidi had put the home side in front. The goal from Dhanachandra Singh was enough to earn United a precious point while the red and gold were left ruing their missed opportunities.
For the third time in five days, the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan was witness to a local derby. This time it was 10th against United Sporting Club who went into the game, placed 4th to their campaign.
The game got off to a feisty start when Anupam Sarkar placed a crunching tackle coming from the back on Edeh Chidi in the opening minutes itself. However, he could count his lucky starts just a few minutes later when he literally wrestled Edeh Chidi to the ground, after finding himself on the wrong side. The Nigerian showed great strength and skill as he neatly dipped his shoulders to get away from the defender. The only thing that saved Sarkar from an early bath was the covering of the ever dependable Bello Rasaq. There wasn’t much respite for United though; Lalrindika Ralte seemed to carry on from where he left off against Bagan on Sunday, hitting the upright with a ravishing low drive. And the clock hadn’t even hit 10 minutes.
East Bengal started growing into the match courtesy of their start studded midfield and on 27 minutes, Chidi was played in delightfully and looked a good bet to open the account. Ishan Debnath, the United SC custodian, who was filling in for the injured Sangram Mukherjee however hacked him down as the Nigerian tried to round the goalkeeper. While the assistant referee flagged for a penalty, the referee remained unconvinced as he waved East Bengal’s claims away. To make things worse for the red and gold, Chidi was shown a yellow for what referee Khamba Singh judged as simulation. Replays however, suggested it was as clear spot on a penalty as there will ever be.
5 minutes later however, there was no stopping the Nigerian hitman as he turned Anupam Sarkar inside out on the right side of United’s penalty box and coolly tucked the ball into the net beyond the hapless Debnath to put East Bengal in front on 32 minutes. The rest of the half meandered along as East Bengal went into half time with a deserved 1 goal lead.
The beginning of the second half was not much different to how the first had ended as both teams could only conjure up a few brief spells of possession with large spells of scrappy play being the major highlight. All changed however on 58’ minutes as Dhanchandra Singh managed to out jump Uga Okpara and head home for the equaliser from Souvik Chakraborty.
It was a bolt from the blue with United seemingly not posing much of a threat going forward. The goal certainly spurred East Bengal on, who were coming into the game as clear favourites. The grit and guile finally from the men in red and gold finally began to bear fruit as a flurry of chances came around the corner 80 minute mark only for Sueoka, Baljit and Chidi to queue up and miss three sitters at a time to the enrage of the red and gold faithful.
With neither team able to put a real foothold on the grip, the game roved to a stalemate. Schatorrie would certainly be the happier of the two managers. While Colaco would see this as two points lost after the number openings they had managed to carve out.
East Bengal: Abhijit Mondal(gk),Arnab Mondal, Uga Okpara, Harmonjot Singh Khabra, Naoba Singh,
Edeh Chidi, Ryuji Sueoka, Lalrandika Ralte,Cavin Lobo(Len 75’), S.Malaswmtuluanga(Baljit Singh Saini
71’), Saumik Dey (Raju Gaekwad 90’)
United: Ishan Debnath, Bello Rasaq, Dhanachandra Singh, Anupam Sarkar (Asif K. 45’), Deepak Mondal,
Souvik Chakrabarti, Snehashis Chkraborty (Jayanta Sen 71), Hasan Hamid Al Moustafa, Tapan Maity (Md.
Rafique 36’), Ranti Martins, C.K. Vineeth
Official Man of the match: C.K. Vineeth