Match 63 of I-League saw Kolkata giants East Bengal play hosts to the young Indian Arrows at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata.
Khalid Jamil's side began the match on the fourth spot on the table after Mohun Bagan leapfrogged them to the third spot with a 3-0 away win in Shillong on Saturday. The perennial rivals were locked on 20 points from twelve matches but the Mariners were ahead courtesy the head-to-head advantage. Indian Arrows were in the lower half of the table with 11 points from their twelve matches.
East Bengal were made to work extremely hard by Indian Arrows as they defended with grit and determination. Dudu Omegbemi's late header won it for the Red and Golds as they managed to stay in the title race.
Ubaid CK (5/10) - The East Bengal custodian had a quiet evening as the home side dominated proceedings on the park. He was called into action a couple of times and looked a bit shaky with indecisiveness and lack of communication with his defenders.
Lalramchullova (6/10) - The left-back for the East Bengal was active on the flank with his attacking runs. He combined well with Katsumi Yusa on the wings and made some overlapping runs behind the Arrows' defence.
Eduardo Ferreira (5.5/10) - The East Bengal centre-back had a silent outing as none of the Arrows attackers posed much threat to the home side.
Salam Ranjan Singh (5.5/10) - The former Bengaluru FC man also had a quiet day in the office alongside Eduardo Ferreira as Indian Arrows did not offer much in the attacking third of the field.
Mehtab Singh (5/10) - The young right back from the East Bengal academy was busy on his flank as he kept making overlapping runs on the wings. He did well in defence against the likes of Stalin and Jadhav as well and was replaced at the start of the second half.
Katsumi Yusa (8/10) - The Japanese winger was the most active attacker for Khalid Jamil's side with his incisive runs and crosses from the left flank. He was the assigned setpiece taker for the Red and Golds as well and put in good deliveries from Dudu and Kromah in the box.
Cavin Lobo (7.5/10) - The East Bengal veteran was the creative nucleus in the central midfield as he dictated the tempo for the Kolkata side. He sprinkled the ball all over the pitch and even had a couple of efforts on the goal.
Joby Justin (6/10) - The young East Bengal forward played up and down the pitch as he moved back to support Cavin Lobo in the midfield. He kept finding good passes for the wingers from the centre.
Laldanmawia Ralte (6.5/10) - The pacey winger played on the right flank and made a lot of good runs on the wings. He kept exchanging places with Joby Justin as East Bengal played a fluid game against the Arrows.
Ansumana Kromah (7.5/10) - The former Mohun Bagan footballer played behind the strikers for the home side. He was highly active and kept the opposition defenders busy with his defence-splitting passes.
Dudu Omegbemi (8/10) - The Nigerian forward was a menace for the young Arrows as he almost bullied them with his physicality in the box. He had several close chances to score in the first half and even hit the post once. Dudu grabbed the winner at the death when he scored past the Arrows' keeper Gill with a looping header.
Samad Mallick (6/10) - The youngster came on at the start of the second half to replace Mehtab Singh in the right-back position. He did well on the right flank as he kept making good runs and put in delightful crosses for Dudu inside the box.
Brandon Vanlalremdika (4.5/10) - The youngster who scored the equaliser in East Bengal's last match came on to replace Cavin Lobo in the second half.
Mohd. Rafique (5/10) - The India international midfielder was brought on by Khalid Jamil late in the match as the home side pushed for the elusive goal. His cross in the box was headed into the net by Omagbemi.
Prabhsukhan Gill (8/10) - The young goalkeeper put in an incredible shift between the sticks as he kept out whatever the East Bengal attackers threw at him. He was beaten at the death with a header by Dudu who won the game for the home side. He won the man of the match award for his gutsy performance.
Jitendra Singh (7/10) - The central defender showed great grit and determination as East Bengal kept barraging the Arrows goal. He was strong in his tackles and pulled off a lot of clearances.
Anwar Ali (7/10) - The tall defender was up against the threat of Dudu in the attack and he used his height and physicality to great effect against the Nigerian. He blocked a lot of efforts by the attackers with his tackles and was good in the air whenever Arrows had setpiece chances.
Sanjeev Stalin (7/10) - The left-back for the Arrows was kept busy on his flank by the pacey Ralte who made a lot of runs on the wings. Stalin did attack whenever Arrows broke on the counter from the left.
Asish Rai (7/10) - The right-back perhaps had the toughest job today having to deal with Katsumi Yusa on his flank. Rai showed great commitment in defence and intercepted quite a few shots taken by the East Bengal players.
Deepak Tangri (6.5/10) - The defensive midfielder played just in front of the Arrows defence and was critical with his pressing and defensive clearances. He won a lot of aerial duels in the centre of the pitch.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam (6.5/10) - The captain of Indian Arrows put in an industrious shift in the centre of the park as he organised his side to deal with the incessant East Bengal attacks.
Abhijit Sarkar (6/10) - The Kolkata-born attacker had to put in a defensive shift today as the Arrows had to sit back and defend for the entire stretch of the game. He had a close chance in the second half that would have put Arrows in the lead but his effort was dealt well by Ubaid in the East Bengal goal.
Rahul Kannooly (6/10) - The winger was the go-to man whenever Indian Arrows broke on the counter. He also helped out his defence.
Aniket Jadhav (6/10) - The Kolhapur-born striker played on the wings and was the target man for the Indian Arrows with him being the furthest player ahead. He put in a couple of good crosses into the East Bengal box that created the chances for the Arrows.
Rahim Ali (6/10) - The tall striker had to fall back and defend most of the times. He won a lot of headers from the crosses into the box by the East Bengal wingers.
Suresh Wangjam (4.5/10) - Suresh came on to replace Aniket Jadhav as Matos made a defensive change.