SC East Bengal registered their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL) as they beat Odisha FC 3-1 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco. Anthony Pilkington put his side in the lead in the 12th minute with a header. Jacques Maghoma then pushed the ball into the back of the net in the 39th minute to give SC East Bengal a 2-0 lead.
Bright Enobakhare scored the third goal of the match in the 88th minute after taking a shot from inside the penalty box. Daniel Fox scored an own goal for his side in the additional minute of second half, but it turned out to be a mere consolation for Odisha FC.
Here are 4 things we learned from the match.
#4 SC East Bengal's new signing Raju Gaikwad fills the right-back void
SC East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler had been experimenting with a three-man backline as the side lacked a genuine right-back. And, when the Red and Gold brigade shifted to a back-four, midfielder Surchandra Singh used to be deployed in an unfamiliar role.
The opposition teams could thus exploit SC East Bengal's right flank and punish them duly. But, Raju Gaikwad's signing has ended their woes. The 30-year-old slotted in seamlessly and also contributed to SC East Bengal's first goal.
Danny Fox flicked Raju's long throw in the 12th minute, and Anthony Pilkington scored his first ISL goal with a thumping header.
#3 Crossbar denies Odisha FC two goals
Debjit Majumder made some crucial saves to keep the lead intact for SC East Bengal. For instance, in the 20th minute, he dived full-stretch to parry away a header from Diego Mauricio.
However, Odisha FC were unlucky to not score more goals as two of their attempts hit the crossbar. In the 57th minute, Manuel Onwu's shot from an extended foot hit the upright. Three minutes later, Jacob Tratt rose above the SC East Bengal defense, but his header hit the crossbar.
#2 Odisha FC have trouble dealing with Jacques Maghoma and Bright Enobakhare
DR Congo international Jacques Maghoma scored his third ISL goal when he doubled the tally for SC East Bengal in the 39th minute. The 33-year-old picked a pass from Matti Steinmann, and dashed past Vinit Rai and Steven Taylor. He ended his solo run with a venomous strike past the Odisha FC goalkeeper from a narrow angle.
Maghoma combined well with Pilkington in the left flank and also helped Bikash Jairu while defending. He came off the field in the 74th minute to make way for Bright Enobakhare. The Nigerian positioned himself perfectly to keep himself unmarked and unleashed a scorching strike in the 88th minute to seal the deal.
#1 Odisha FC missing the services of Marcelinho in the midfield
Odisha FC's coach Stuart Baxter once again left Marcelinho on the bench. The Brazilian last started for the club against ATK Mohun Bagan and has made only sporadic substitute appearances since then.
SC East Bengal's Milan Singh looked vulnerable as he gave away a lot of loose balls. Marcelinho would have exploited him to give Odisha FC an attacking impetus.
In his absence, Odisha FC mainly attacked through long balls or by pressing the defenders. They lacked a player of the caliber of Marcelinho, who could dribble past players to create chances for his team.