THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Ranti Martins secures East Bengal three points

Ranti Martins Soleye (East Bengal Club)
Ranti Martins Soleye (East Bengal Club)

Picture courtesy: I-League Media

East Bengal Club claimed a 1-0 win against Salgaocar FC in an I-League encounter on Wednesday.

East Bengal started upfront with Ranti Martins Soleye and Dudu Omagbemi while Abhijit Mondal returned in goal with Gurwinder Singh coming in at the heart of defense.

Salgaocar FC coach Derrick Pereira had Gilbert Oliviera out with a niggle as Rosario Mendes came in his side. Pawan Kumar came in the side in place of Francis Kasonde while Saran Singh replaced Brian Mascheranas.

It was a drab affair in the first half with neither side having a clear cut chance at goal.

In the 24th minute Mehtab Hossein had played a lovely through ball in the direction of Ranti Martins’ run but Subrata Pal did well to read it in time and came out to collect.

Salgaocar was clearly second best as the Red and Golds peppered the Greens’ box with crosses, but they had probably the best chance in the half when Gurjinder tested Abhijit from an acute angle down the left after Douhou Pierre had slid it through.

Eelco Shattorie’s words seemed to have worked as the Red and Golds went up a gear after the break.

In the 53rd minute Leo Bertos took a corner towards the far post which an unmarked Gurwinder Singh only managed to hit it straight to Subrata in goal. Both Dudu and Hamranjot Singh Khabra meanwhile failed to get on the end of the loose ball.

It was Ranti Martins who scored his 200th goal to give the Red and Golds the lead just two minutes later as he got in front of both Augustin Fernandes and Subrata Pal to head it into an open goal after a delightful cross from Robert Lalthamuana down the left.

East Bengal ended the match rather dangerously as Salgaocar had a flurry of chances following the introduction of Sanju Pradhan.

First Pradhan had sent in a lovely through ball in the 82nd minute to send Augustin Fernandes bearing down on goal. However his touch took the ball away from him and he went down under the challenge of Abhijit Mondal but the referee was not interested in giving away a penalty.

A minute later Pradhan had a pop at goal himself from just outside the box but Abhijit parried it away and followed it up with going clear down right himself but this time too his shot was blocked by an alert Abhijit who had come out of his line just on time.

Eelco Schattorie’s wards had a chance to seal the encounter three minutes from time as Ranti dribbled past Subrata with ease but his touch took the ball too far away from him before he could pull the trigger. He did however keep it in play and picked out Lobo in the box. Lobo’s shot towards the far post looped up and was just wide.

Even with seven minutes of time added on and Subrata joining in the team’s attacks on the other end, East Bengal held on and took revenge over their 3-1 defeat in Goa early on at the hands of Derrick Pereira’s side.

(Report & Picture courtesy I-League Media)