Sunday, January 22, 2017 Report by
Kingfisher East Bengal Stamps Authority but Fails to Rub Nose against Bangalore FC.
It was a match that every I-league football lover was looking up to the first clash between footballing giants of India, it was the defending champs against the Red & Gold Kolkata outfit at Barasat Stadium.
The match started with lots of nerves that needed to be settled down until the 12th minute when the southern champion side started to take charge & control the game with their swift passing moves. After sheer persistence combined with great passing one to one movements paid off when Ralte picked up a pass from midfield & ran all the way through the left flank when R. Bheke was left stranded Ralte then reversed the pass to C.K. Vineeth who made no mistake tapping the ball pass T. P. Rehenesh. With flurries of attack by the defending champions who seem to be taking the game away from the Kolkata Giants got jolted on 27th minute when Dika from a corner passed the ball short to Wedson Anselme who drew two defenders out & returned the ball to Dika who advanced towards the box & delivered a fast & low ball towards East Bengal players standing inside the box & it was none other than Ivan Bukenya who tapped in the ball to make it 1-1 .
The defending champions were a bit shattered that broke their momentum & fluent game. Sunil Chettri got into a tussle with Mehtab Hossain after a rash tackle by Mehtab & both were booked by the referee Ajit K. Metei. The Bengaluru FC skipper should have been sent off for yet another rash challenge on Dika.
The move of the match came when East Bengal number 9 Willis D Plaza nutmeg Juanan but then shot the ball straight to A. Singh. Willis Plaza missed a flurry of opportunities & could have scored a hat-trick in the second half that could have rubbed the nose of the defending champs.
Ildar Amirov was subbed at half time unable to show his presence with Ex Bengaluru hitman R.Singh who have had previously scored for both the sides in this tie & he kept up to his reputation when a long ball from I. Bukenya saw Juanan unable to judge the flight headed back that fell to R.Singh who made no mistake slotting the ball past advancing A.Singh making it 2-1 .
Earlier Nikhil Pujary the U22 who again displayed his class missed a golden opportunity when Mehtab Hossain threaded a through ball but advancing A. Singh saved blushes of the defending champions.
The second half saw East Bengal carrying out counterattacks time & again but failed to capitalize upfront.
Last but not the least Ivan Bukenya the big Ugandan again delivered a standout performance in defense & almost single-handedly thwarted each & every Bengaluru offense & was rightly adjudged Hero Of the Match.
Well as of now the battle is won by the English coach Trevor James Morgan out thinking this Spanish counterpart Albert Roca & former Barcelona assistant that saw his side propelled to the second spot of the I-League 2016-2017.