East Bengal and Mohun Bagan play out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata. Pierre Boya gave the green and maroon brigade the lead in the 24th minute. The lead was cancelled out by Ranti Martins just after 6 minutes.
East Bengal missed the services of Subhashish Roy Chowdhury due to an injury which he received in the last game against Kalyani Bharat FC. Abhijeet Mondal replaced him. Surprisingly Armando did not field his best defender Arnab Mondal in starting lineup.
The red and gold brigade could have picked up an early lead in the very beginning of the game. Ranti Martins got a golden opportunity after Kingshuk Debnath failed to block an easy ball. Ranti’s first touch proved to be disastrous as he failed to score from a handshaking distance.
Both the teams took an attacking approach from the beginning of the game. Mohun Bagan’s attacks were heavily dependent upon the long throws of Dhanachandra Singh.
In the 22nd minute, East Bengal got yet another opportunity to go front. Dudu Omagbemi passed a ball from the left flank to Mehtab, who in turn floated a cross for captain Harmanjyot Singh Khabra. Khabra attempted an acrobatic shot, but the ball went marginally above the goal post. It could have been one of the best goals of the tournament.
Against the run of play, Mohun Bagan broke the deadlock in the 24th minute. Their marquee player Pierre Boya scored the opening goal with a header following Katsumi’s corner. East Bengal custodian Abhijeet Mondal completely missed the flight and Boya got an easy header.
Mohun Bagan took the grip of the match after they scored the goal. Sony Norde worked really hard down the left flank.
Around the 30th-minute mark, Mama floated a swerving cross from the left flank which was headed home by Ranti Martins. The equalizing goal was a result of a good move.
Both the teams kept pressing in each other’s half but failed to generate goal scoring opportunities. Dudu Omagbemi could have given his team a lead when he got an opportunity due to Kingshuk’s mistake. But his attempt went way above the goal post.
Armando was forced to replace captain Khabra after the midfielder got injured. Joachim Abranches replaced Khabra as Dika moved to the central midfield position.
The second half saw both the teams trying to cancel each other out in the midfield. None of the teams could generate genuine goal scoring moves barring a few. Sony Norde tirelessly worked hard down the left flank, but the strikers failed to convert. Similarly, the East Bengal strikers were also wasteful. Armando was forced to replace Abhishek Das with Deepak Mondal who was unable to mark Norde.
Lalrindika Ralte was declared the man of the match.Published 17 Feb 2015, 21:05 IST