Kingfisher East Bengal FC and Kalyani Bharat FC play out a 1-1 draw at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata. Ranti Martins scored the opening goal of the match for the hosts in first half. New Zealand World Cupper Kris Bright equalized in the second half from a controversial goal. Apparently, he had pushed the opponent goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury while scoring the goal.
East Bengal took on the newbie of Indian football Kalyani Bharat FC in their 5th match in the Hero I-League. They needed to bag some points after their heavy defeat in the previous game against Salgaocar FC. Bharat FC too was not in a comfortable position in the league and are yet to win a match in the I-League.
The first half was an end-to-end affair
Lalrindika Ralte came back to starting XI from injury after a long time. The left-footed youngster got an opportunity to score his first goal of the tournament as early as in the 3rd minute. Ranti Martins feeded a brilliant pass to Didika who had to score from just six yards away from the goal. But instead he attempted a powerful shot and it went way above the goal post.
Both the teams attacked continuously and it became an end to end affair. Kalyani Bharat FC could have scored in the 24th minute had luck been on their side. Gouramangi Singh headed and floating corner kick from Lester Fernandes. Unfortunately, the India international’s header hit the crossbar and came back.
East Bengal slowly took grip of the match and attacked quite a few times, but none of them yielded any positive result. They enjoyed better possession but failed to create positive goalscoring chances. The absence of Dudu Omagbemi from the starting eleven due to injury concerns was the reason behind the lacklustre attacks from the team from Bengal.
Around the 39th-minute mark, Didika took a magnificent curling free-kick in a dangerous area for his teammates to tap in, but Arindam did well to protect the goal. Seconds after Arindam’s save, East Bengal got the best opportunity of the game when Ranti Martins was played through on goal inside the six-yard box. Ranti’s first touch betrayed him as Arindam made yet another good save.
Ranti finally broke the deadlock in the 41st minute by scoring from a very close range. Tluanga assisted a wonderful ball towards the Nigerian who just had to tap in the ball.
The draw will not help either team
The second half began in a dull manner as neither of the teams showed any determination in trying to get the winner. Steven Dias came on as a substitute in the second half in place of an ineffective Rajinder Kumar.
Ranti Martins could have doubled his goals tally and increase his team’s lead in the 60th minute when Mama curled a superb cross from the right flank. Unfortunately, the Nigerian striker’s header went just above the crossbar.
Kiwi World Cupper Kris Bright equalized in the 65th minute for the visitors. Steven Dias curled a cross from the right wing, which Bright headed home. The replays although suggested that East Bengal custodian Subhashish Roy Chowdhury was the first one to intercept the cross and Bright pushed him to claim the goal. Technically, it was a clear foul on the goalkeeper.
East Bengal managed to salvage just one point from their home tie. They have one more crucial game to play in a day’s time – the Kolkata Derby on Tuesday. A win today would have boosted the team’s confidence but nevertheless, a point is always important. Kalyani Bharat FC, on the other hand is yet to win a game in the Hero I-League. Stuart Watkiss needs to gear things up soon.