After their mid-week demolition of Mumbai FC, East Bengal Club put in another sterling performance on Sunday, beating Shillong Lajong FC 2-0. The Red & Gold Brigade were playing with intent from the first whistle, consuming most of the possession relegating Shillong to just the odd counter attack.
East Bengal’s Tolgay Ozbey had an opportunity to put the hosts ahead within the first ten minutes. Finding himself in a one on one situation, Ozbey fired wide. Five minutes later, a free flowing move from the right – East Bengal’s live wire winger Naoba Singh’s cross across the box finding Penn Orji, only for the ball to be skied over the crossbar. Midway in the first half, Lajong’s Zohmingliana Ralte brought Ozbey outside the penalty box, a second caution reduced Lajong to ten men.
Taking advantage, East Bengal tightened their hold on the match. East Bengal captain Sanju Pradhan’s lung bursting run from the left flank, followed by a powerful shot from outside the box put East Bengal up by goal in the 29th minute. The score line remained the same till the end of the half.
The second half saw East Bengal stamp their dominance on the pitch, the advantage of possessing an extra man allowed for more chances to be created. Lajong managed to keep attacks at bay with the help of disciplined defending. Trevor Morgan threw in Robin Singh, Alan Gow and Paite into the mix, adding some height up front.
East Bengal had several opportunities to increase their lead, but managed to waste chances galore. In the 82nd minute a cross found Paite with plenty of space on the right flank, a cross which required just a tap in was squandered wide by Gow.
In the 88th minute, a mistimed clearance in the Lajong penalty box found the right boot of East Bengal’s Uga Okapara. The Nigerian’s thunderous right foot shot threatened to rip the net apart put the hosts 2-0 up. The goal was much to the relief of Trevor Morgan’s men who have moved up the table to fifth with seven points.
(AIFF Press Release)
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