SC East Bengal got their first-ever Indian Super League (ISL) win as they beat Odisha FC 3-1 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama, Goa. Goals from Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma almost sealed the deal in the first half for SC East Bengal while Bright Enobakhare increased the lead further with a debut strike.
SC East Bengal have improved with each game and they looked ready for this match from the first whistle. Jacques Maghoma, in particular, looked menacing as he troubled the duo of Shubham Sarangi and Jerry Mawihmingthanga on the left flank.
The first goal, however, came from a dead-ball situation. Raju Gaikwad’s long throw made it to the far post for Anthony Pilkington to score his first-ever ISL goal. With Odisha FC leaving space in front of their back-line, there were a lot of opportunities for Maghoma, Pilkington, and Matti Steinmann to exploit.
Maghoma continued to be troublesome on the left flank as he accelerated at a frenetic pace after getting the ball. It was such a situation that saw Maghoma set up Pilkington but the ball deflected off the post.
Even though SC East Bengal were quite suspect while defending set-pieces, they still managed to double the lead soon. An inspirational Maghoma belted a shot past Arshdeep Singh in the 39th minute. The goal was a self-made one as Maghoma blitzed past a few Odisha FC defenders before releasing the shot.
In the second half, it was all Odisha FC as SC East Bengal began to lose possession with increasing frequency. Jerry had a couple of golden opportunities early on, but he missed his shots after getting into good positions.
Odisha FC were also quite unlucky as Manuel Onwu struck the woodwork after Jerry found him with a superb cross. A few minutes later, Jacob Tratt struck the crossbar from a Cole Alexander free-kick.
Against the run of play, SC East Bengal scored their third goal after an impressive Bright Enobakhare fired his shot past a helpless Arshdeep Singh. Bright’s first shot didn’t go in but the ball fell to Surchandra Singh. He was clever enough to make a neat pass to the Nigerian forward, who didn't make a mistake this time.
With the match done and dusted, Odisha FC got a consolation goal as Danny Fox scored an own goal after a scramble in the six-yard box.
ISL 2020-21, SCEB vs OFC: Who was the Hero of the Match
SC East Bengal skipper Anthony Pilkington was named the ‘Hero of the Match’ for his superb performance. Despite being one of the most impressive foreigners in this season, a goal remained elusive for Pilkington until this game.
Primarily an attacking midfielder, the 32-year-old featured in a number of positions in this match in order to get the best out of the SC East Bengal team. That is why he deserved an easy chance at goal like he got today. The Irishman also worked hard otherwise and combined especially well with Jacques Maghoma.Published 04 Jan 2021, 00:36 IST