Tuesday, January 26, 2016 Report by
Dr. Tanmoy Ganguly
Kingfisher East Bengal Have three points from their first home match in Hero I-League 2015-16 against debutants DSK Shivajians
East Bengal ensured a win in their first official home match against DSK Shivajians at Barasat yesterday. With three points in their kitty the red and gold brigade climbed to the second spot of the points tally just one point behind the leader Bengaluru FC.
As expected the home side started dominating the proceedings from the word go but a resolute defending from the Pune boys kept them at bay for the first half hour of the game. Despite having a lion’s share of the ball possession the home team could not break the DSK defence and apart from a freekick from Do Dong that was saved by experienced custodian Subrata paul and a missed chance by Ranty nothing was worth mentionable for the former national league champions. The deadlock was broken at the half hour mark when a goalmouth scuffle from a Mehtab corner fortunately fell for Mohammed Rafique whose volley took a deflection before hitting the crosspiece. The rebound found an unmarked Ranty Martins who gladly put it into the net. Despite this set-back the away team did not lose their composure neither their shape. They had a golden opportunity to restore parity immediately after the goal as a Dohou Pierre freekick was parried away by East Bengal goalkeeper T.P.Rehensh for a corner. The first half ended with a lone goal advantage for the home team.
The second half started with the same note as the first one with the Kolkata giant pressing hard but finding it difficult to penetrate the disciplined defensive unit. Melvin Lobo and Abdul Hakku were rock solid in the back line and made vital interceptions to deny the home team an insurance goal. The Red and Gold brigade was missing a game maker in the midfield and the final pass was elusive. Ranty Martins was finding himself alone in the box. Do Dong looked agile and energetic but he too was surrounded by a crowd Of DSK midfielders time and again. Mr. Biswajit Bhattacharya should look in to this to ensure better performance in the ensuing matches. Despite all these the Kolkata team came close to increasing their tally as a DO Dong shot went agonisingly close past the far post and once he blasted over the cross bar when Joaquim set him up with a sublime minus.
The Shivajians came very close to scoring when a Israel Gurung shot got a deflection off Bello Rajjaque and ricocheted off the bar with Rehensh beaten hands down. The last quarter of the match saw both the teams engage in clumsy and hasty long ball tactics and as the final whistle blew the red and gold followers breathed a sigh of relief to ensure an important victory.
The next encounter of the Kolkata giant will be against the current league leader mighty Bengaluru FC and they need to show a better performance to get a satisfactory outcome from the match.