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A Review of East Bengal’s Performance in Sheikh Kamal International Club Championship 2015

One of the most successful clubs of India in international club competition, East Bengal FC was clubbed with Abahani Limited Chittagong, Karachi Electric FC and Abahani Limited Dhaka in Group B of Sheikh Kamal Internation Club Championship 2015.

East Bengal came to the tournament with 13 players of first team missing due to Indian Super League engagement. However, when it comes to represent the nation, East Bengal is a different team, no matter who the opponents are.

The Squad for East Bengal in Sheikh Kamal International Club Championship:

GOALKEEPERS: Abhra Mondal, Dibyendu Sarkar, Tanumoy Das
DEFENDERS: Deepak Mondal (C), Bello Razaq, Samad Ali Mondal, Babu Mondal, Johnny Routh, Biswajit Saha, Avinava Bag
MIDFIELDERS: Prohlad Roy, Mohammed Rafique, Avinash Rui Das, Antoni Soren, Jagannath
Sana, Subodh Kumar, Subhojit Mazumdar,
Alvito D’Cunha, Tanmoy Kundu
FORWARDS: Ranti Martins, Orok Orok Essien, Do Dong-hyun, Jiten Murmu
CHIEF COACH: Biswajit Bhattacharya
ASSISTANT COACH: Sanjay Majhi
MANAGER: Sammy Omollo

East Bengal started their campaign at Bangladesh playing against Abahani Limited Chittagong on 20th October; this was the first time when both the teams locked horn at Chittagong. East Bengal defeated Chittagong Abahani Limited 2-1 at M.A. Aziz Stadium. For East Bengal Mohammed Rafique in 32’ and Prohlad Roy scored in 72’. For the Bangladesh team Hemanta Biswas Vincent scored one in 78’.

In the second match, East Bengal faced Karachi Electric FC on 22nd October. East Bengal for the first time played against the Pakistan team. With a resounding 3-1 win over Karachi Electric FC at M.A. Aziz Stadium, East Bengal confirmed their semifinal berth in 2015 Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup. For East Bengal Orok Orok Eassien (15′), Mohammed Rafique (25′) and Ranti Martins (49′) scored the goals while for Pakistan side Muhammad Rasool (84′) reduced the margin.

In the Final Group B match, East Bengal played a goalless draw against Abahani Limited Dhaka on 24th October. Earlier both the teams have played against each other for seven times with the Red & Gold won 5 times and the Bangladesh team won once. The other match ended goalless draw. Having won their earlier two fixtures against Chittagong Abahani and Karachi Electric, East Bengal was in advantage of qualifying for semifinals, whereas, it was a must win match for Abahani Limited Dhaka. However with a clever defensive strategy East Bengal knocked the Dhaka team out of the tournament.

In the semifinal, East Bengal faced Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting on 28th October. East Bengal outplayed the Dhaka team and won the match by 3-0. For East Bengal, Ranti Martins scored a brace and Mohammed Rafique also got his name on the score-sheet in the game which marked the 200th international match for the red and gold brigade.

East Bengal FC faced Chittagong Abahani Limited in the final whom they defeated in the opening match in Group B. However, despite taking an early lead East Bengal lost the final by 1-3. This was the first time that East Bengal lost a final in international club tournaments. Though East Bengal lost the final but the team gained a lot of confidence and positive energy. With all the top players busy in ISL, the junior players played out of their skin to finished runners-up in an international tournament, this will give the team a huge boost before the start of I-League.

 

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