Chidi keeps East Bengal on top
27 November 2012
KOLKATA, 27 NOV: A powerful angular shot from East Bengal striker Edeh Chidi, a deflection off the outstretched leg of Salgaocar’s substitute defender Collin Abranches was all to fox the latters’ goalkeeper Karanjit Singh and tilt the scales in favour of the home side in the eighth round I-League match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
This was the lone occasion in the second half that differentiated the status of the two British coaches in charge of the opposing teams. Trevor James Morgan picked up full three points for East Bengal while David Booth had to go back home empty handed.
East Bengal cemented its position on top of the standings while continuing to push its unbeaten record even further. Salgaocar’s successive three matches in Kolkata ended on a poor note as the Goa team picked only one point – from the draw against Prayag United in the earlier round – while losing its other two (against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal) matches.
Booth can only have the consolation of the getting some of the rhythm back for the struggling team, which put up a good show against East Bengal. The side could well have picked up a point from the encounter but for the goal that happened more because of the unfortunate deflection in the 66th minute.
East Bengal started on a confident note but had to wait for a long time to translate the advantage into a goal. The first half justifiably ended goalless as Salgaocar played the perfect foil bottling up the East Bengal offensive well outside own box.
East Bengal’s dominance in the first half had no real effect on the scoreline as an alert opponent numbed most of their attacks. The couple of easy scoring opportunities that came the hosts’ way in the first half (in 33rd and 35th minutes) were floundered by their Nigerian midfielder Orji Penn.
Salgaocar also had a chance coming their way late in the first half but it went abegging as the Australian striker Sean Rooney delayed his shot from inside the box and found the body of an opposition defender, who came in for cover. The second half was spread out evenly as Salgaocar launched a few good counter-attacks while East Bengal looked for the elusive break. East Bengal defence managed to hold off its opponent and regained the momentum through Chidi’s goal midway through the action. Salgaocar pushed for the equaliser in the last 10 minutes but remained unsuccessful as East Bengal increased men their defence thwarting the visitors’ efforts.
This was the fourth successive win for east Bengal, which netted 20 points from eight matches to maintain its position on top while Salgaocar continued in the bottom half of the standings with just six points to their credit.