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Rangdajied United go down fighting to East Bengal

Rangdajied United FC v East Bengal Club

Rangdajied United FC v East Bengal Club

Rangdajied United slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Kolkata giants East Bengal at the Polo Ground on Saturday, after putting up a heroic display throughout the 90 minutes.

Head coach Santosh Kashyap didn’t make any changes to the side that started in the 2-0 away win over Mohun Bagan last Sunday. The game started at a slow but calculated pace, with both sides approaching the first few minutes cautiously.

There were a few nerves initially, with the blues’ defender Lamine Tamba booked for a late challenge in the 15th minute. However, it was Rangdajied United, who made the more noticeable impact in the game in the first half.

In the 24th minute, forward Manandeep Singh got the ball outside the box. With strike partner Kim Yong standing unmarked, the Haryana-born Manadeep, however, fluffed his final ball, as East Bengal breathed a sigh of relief. Only 5 minutes later, Manadeep’s effort at goal from a Munmun Lugun cross agonizingly went inches wide.

With Rangdajied turning on the screw, East Bengal took the lead against the run of play after defender Gurwinder Singh headed in a free kick from the flanks. The goal produced an instant reaction from the hosts, and the boys in blue were able to create a few chances in the next few minutes.

With the game into the final minute of the first half injury time, Rangdajied’s pressure finally bore fruits, as striker Kim Yong headed in a brilliant cross from the right flank by skipper Eugeneson Lyngdoh. The teams went into the breather with the score at 1-1.

Both the sides started cautiously after the break. East Bengal, however, quickly settled down, and started piling the pressure on Rangdajied. Santosh Kashyap sent in midfielder Bansharai Sunn for forward Manadeep Singh, to beef up his midfield and prevent East Bengal from dictating the play.

The substitution turned to be going well for Rangdajied, as the visitors weren’t being able to make inroads past the dense blues’ midfield. The hosts, on the other hand, set up to play on the counter. Eugeneson Lyngdoh almost put his side ahead in the 70th minute, when he unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box. The long-ranger, however, went agonizingly over the bar.

At the other end, East Bengal were starting to create some decent chances. In the 83rd minute, Subrata Paul made a fine save from a Edeh Chidi shot, only to see Shylo Malsawmtluanga tap in to score the winner for East Bengal. Santosh Kashyap brought in David Ngaite in the last few minutes, but the red-and-golds held on for a vital win.

The loss keeps the hosts second-bottom in the league table, with 8 points from 11 games. Rangdajied United will next host Pune FC at the Polo Ground on Wednesday evening.