Chennaiyin FC took the lead with a goal from Lallianzuala Chhangte in the first half. The Red and Golds equalised in the second half, courtesy of Matti Steinmann. Csaba Laszlo's men restored their lead 5 minutes later through Rahim Ali. SC East Bengal scored the second equaliser of the game again through Matti Steinmann to earn one point.
Chennaiyin FC went up to 7th in the standings after the match while SC East Bengal climbed up to 10th.
Here are 4 things we learned from this match.
#1 Chennaiyin FC are not clinical in front of the goal
Csaba Laszlo's side was the better team in the first half. The Marina Machans had the majority of the possession and got chances to score. However, the likes of Rahim Ali, Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Jakub Sylvestr kept on missing the target.
The second half saw a repetition of the same. The former champions had 17 chances on goal and managed to have just 5 shots on target. Rafael Crivellaro and Anirudh Thapa delivered in several crosses from both the flanks but to no avail. The Chennaiyin FC strikers failed to hit any header on target in the second half.
#2 Jakub Sylvestr turns provider
The Slovakian forward assisted both the goals for Chennaiyin FC. The first goal was a quick flick-on in the middle of the park for Lallianzuala Chhangte on the left side. The young left-winger raced past his marker Surchandra Singh and scored past Debjit Majumder.
The second goal was yet another one-touch movement on the ball. Crivellaro raced down the right side, played the ball to Jakub Sylvestr, who found Rahim Ali with a turn. Ali outfoxed his marker Bikash Jairu and scored with ease to put Chennaiyin FC ahead for the second time in the game.
Sylvestr was not at his best in front of the goal. But he dropped down the pitch on a few occasions to hold the ball and build up play from the middle of the pitch.
#3 SC East Bengal show character
The Red and Golds looked unsettled in the entire first half. Robbie Fowler's men failed to get the ball on their feet on several occasions in the first half. The transitional play and zonal marking from Chennaiyin FC was so strong that it never allowed East Bengal to build their play from the back.
However, a little tweak in the formation from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 allowed East Bengal to play the ball more on their feet than on the wings. The Red and Golds kept testing the Chennaiyin FC defence in regular intervals.
The fullbacks, Surchandra Singh and Bikash Jairu kept playing out wide and delivered in numerous crosses. Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma acted as the target men with Matti Steinmann and Mohammed Rafique as the holding midfielders.
East Bengal eventually scored from 2 of their 8 corners. A swirling delivery from Bikash Jairu in consecutive corners found Matti Steinmann on the far side, who slotted it home. The Red and Golds had chances to go ahead in the game with Mohammed Rafique missing an opportunity to score into an open net. Scott Neville also headed over the target from a corner.
#4 Matti Steinmann is the Hero of the Match
Touted as one of the finest arrivals in the SC East Bengal squad, Matti Steinmann has always been the marshall of the midfield for Robbie Fowler's men. Apart from his midfield duties, the former Wellington Phoenix midfielder also contributed to the attack.
He scored the first goal by rising higher than everybody else to head in a corner delivered by Bikash Jairu in the 59th minute. SC East Bengal scored again from a Bikash Jairu corner in the 68th minute. The left-winger found Daniel Fox in the box whose header landed up with Matti Steinmann. The German was at the right place at the right time and scored for East Bengal.
He had an impeccable passing accuracy of 75%, 63 touches on the ball, and the majority of the interceptions, blocks, and tackles in the middle of the pitch. Steinmann's performance made him one of the finest playmakers for East Bengal and in the league overall.Published 27 Dec 2020, 00:38 IST