SC East Bengal defeated Bengaluru FC in what was a nail-biting match 1-0, thanks Matti Steinmann who was on target. Sunil Chhetri’s boys were denied till the last minute, as Debjit Majumder was an impenetrable wall for the whole match.
After a not-so-impressive start to their campaign, the Red and golds remained undefeated in their last few outings. Now the team looked like a much-improved side compared to what it was at the beginning of the season. The Blues, on the other hand, were not in their best form, as they were on the back of three consecutive losses when they came to the match.
The 6th-placed Bengaluru FC had brought in as many as four changes in their lineup in their match against SC East Bengal to change their fate after their embarrassing 1-3 defeat against Mumbai City FC. In came Parag Shrivas, Ajith Kumar, Erik Paartalu and Udanta Singh in place of Harmanjot Khabra, Pratik Chaudhari, Deshorn Brown and Kristian Opseth.
All of these were in vain as the captain Sunil Chhetri yet to find the winning combination yet. He, as well as the team, was left goalless throughout the 90 minutes. However, it was not because the Blues didn’t get the opportunity to score. Chances, they did get but the conversion was their drawback.
Paras Silva and Cleiton Silva both had opportunities early on in the first half. Parag’s excellent dribble inside the box ended up as a strike to the goalkeeper’s side net while Silva’s header went to the roof of the goal, resulting in consecutive close-saves for SC East Bengal.
SC East Bengal’s Narayan Das failed to convert a low cross from Ankit Mukherjee as he couldn’t keep the shot on target while Blues’ captain Sunil Chhetri failed to head in another cross from Parag.
The lone goal of the match was scored by the German playmaker Matti Steinmann, 20 minutes into the first half. Ankit Mukherjee’s second attempt cross was received by Narayan Das. In turn, he prodded it towards Steinmann who flicked the ball expertly into the net. The goal proved ever so important later on as it proved to be the decider.
Debjit Majumder’s brilliant save denied yet another attempt at goal by Chhetri just after the halftime and Bengaluru FC still couldn’t find the equalizer.
The match went toe to toe with chances created from either end, but apart from the one scored by Steinmann, both sides failed to convert. The referees had allotted 5 extra minutes of nail-biting opportunities but again, apart from an ambitious attempt by Erik Paartalu, no other chances were created. SC East Bengal had won the match.
Hero of the Match – Debjit Majumder
Goalkeeper Debjit Majumder was adjudged the Hero of the Match, owing to his numerous fantastic saves. His heroics made sure the Blues didn’t get the equalizer they were desperately searching for. The DHL Winning Pass of the Match was awarded to Bright Enobakhare.
East Bengal will ride the high horse when they face Kerala Blasters next on 15th January. Bengaluru is facing NorthEast United on 12th January, where they will hope to get back to the winning ways.