SC East Bengal earned another point from a 2-2 draw with Chennaiyin FC in the 39th match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League Season (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium. SC East Bengal were trailing 0-1 at half-time but a frantic second half saw Matti Steinmann coming up with two goals to force a draw.
Chennaiyin FC dominate the first half
SC East Bengal got a decent start as they went forward with a lot of intent. But Chennaiyin FC's creative talent soon came into action as they created a lot of chances.
Eventually, it was Lallianzuala Chhangte who scored the first goal as Jakub Sylvestr came up with a delicate flick to release the winger into a lot of space. Chhangte used his pace to make it a one-on-one opportunity before finding the back of the net. Chennaiyin continued to maintain possession and come up with frequent attacks but the SC East Bengal defenders stood tall.
Against the run of play, SC East Bengal did have a few chances like when Mohammed Rafique missed a sitter after being played through by Matti Steinmann. Rafique tried to dribble past Vishal Kaith but this allowed Deepak Tangri to come up with a timely tackle.
After this, there were a couple more chances for Chennaiyin FC but some poor work in the final third meant that they couldn’t double the lead.
SC East Bengal improve in a frantic second half
East Bengal made a couple of changes during half-time to become adventurous, but it was Chennaiyin FC who had the better start once again. Rafael Crivellaro sent in a fine corner-kick but Sylvestr headed it wide. After showing some positive signs, SC East Bengal equalized in the 59th minute as Steinmann headed in a superb corner-kick from Bikash Jairu.
However, Jairu and SC East Bengal’s joy was short-lived as the full-back made a costly mistake to help Rahim Ali score his second goal of the season. Jairu wasn’t strong enough as he let Rahim Ali run through after Sylvestr played a through ball.
The frantic game became even more eventful when Matti Steinmann scored another goal from a corner-kick. However, this second equalizer came up after Vishal Kaith pushed Danny Fox’s header straight to Steinmann. The German did the easy job of kicking the ball into an open net.
There were still plenty of opportunities for Chennaiyin FC late in the game. Unfortunately for Csaba Laszlo, the likes of Chhangte and Sylvestr were guilty of missing straight-forward chances once again.
Even SC East Bengal could have nicked a winner in the end with Scott Neville missing a free header. Enes Sipovic almost cost Chennaiyin FC dearly with a back-pass. But Vishal Kaith was brave to come forward when Jacques Maghoma challenged for the ball. In the end, both the teams had to settle for a point with Chennaiyin FC regretting their poor finishing once again.
ISL 2020-21, SCEB vs CFC: Who was the Hero of the Match?
German midfielder Matti Steinmann was named the ‘Hero of the Match’ for his two goals which earned SC East Bengal a well-earned point. Matti Steinmann has been mostly an unsung hero with his work as a defensive midfielder. He had also shown enough attacking prowess without getting on the scoresheet.
It was to change on Saturday as he scored from two set-pieces. The header which got the first goal was particularly brilliant as Steinmann had to direct the ball from a difficult angle.Published 27 Dec 2020, 00:16 IST