Robin Singh scores against former side Bengaluru FC, leading his team to victory.
CK Vineeth scored his 5th goal of the season to put the Blues ahead (23′) but the The Red & Yellow Brigade answered quick with Ivan Bukenya levelling the score at the 28th minute. A dominating second half from East Bengal resulted in Robin Singh’s goal(79′) giving his side 3 points.
The match started off slow, with both sides trying to fish out each other’s weakness. The Blues got their first chance when a cross from Khabra was cleared by Gurwinder Singh behind whom CK Vineet was lurking.
This followed by an ambitious effort from Sunil Chettri to the far corner, which was palmed away by the host’s goalkeeper.
Bengaluru finally took the lead at the 23rd minute with the in-form striker CK Vineeth. A smart and quick run by Eugeneson Lyngdoh left Rahul Bheke and Mehtab dead in his wake before he found Vineeth perfectly with a cutback from the byline. CK Vineeth placed it in the corner,giving the Keeper Rehenesh no chance.
However,East Bengal equalized only 5 minutes later with Ivan Bukenya’s tap-in at the 28th minute.
The atmosphere got heated as Sunil Chhetri and Mehtab Hossain got into a tussle which led to Bengaluru FC losing their focus.
With 5 minutes to go for half-time, Wedson puts a long diagonal ball to Plaza, who nutmegs Juanan and strikes the ball straight at BFC Keeper Arminder.
A mess up at the East Bengal’s end gave Eugeneson a shot on goal, which was acrobatically saved by Rehenesh. Sunil Chettri tried to follow up the shot but was denied as Gurwinder Singh stepped in time to clear the ball.
The Second Half started off with BFC trying to take control, with Udanta making runs down the right trying to set up chances which were cleared by the EB defense, in both the cases.
Both teams had fair share of chances, with Sunil Chettri trying for the top corner,but only to be stopped by Rehenesh followed by EB’s youngster Nikhil Poojary who had a clear shot on goal but couldn’t get passed Arminder Singh.
In the 62nd minute, Plaza tried to break the score by going for goal, after getting past Juanan, only to be stopped by Arminder while Wedson was open right beside him.
In the 74th minute, East Bengal’s substitute Robin Singh almost made his mark in the game with an attempt to chip the ball over Arminder, who had come off his line but the crossbar came to BFC’s rescue.
Anselme found a breakaway and played the ball to Willis Plaza on the far side instead of going for goal himself. However Plaza wasted another opportunity despite a last ditch dive attempt.
With 10 minutes to go in the match, a defensive mess-up from the Blues defenders, Juanan and Sena Ralte saw Robin get on the ball just outside the box. Plaza was free down the centre but Robin decided to go for glory,and got the winning goal for his side.
The Home side had yet 3 more chances at the death, with Plaza yet again wasting a golden opportunity from point blank range set up by Anselme. Then, Anselme had a go by trying to chip the keeper but Arminder managed to keep it out.An attempt from Poojari was also kept out by the athletic BFC Keeper.
Arminder Singh was at the top of his game and made crucial saves throughout, and the score-line would have been very different without him.
East Bengal were the dominating side but failed to take advantage of clear goal opportunities.
At full time the score line was 2-1 in favor of East Bengal.
Stay tuned for more updates.
– Nandan Rajeev