East Bengal manage to keep three points against Churchill Brothers
Willis Plaza scored a brace to pick up three points for Red and Gold brigade after a tight challenge by Goan outfits
In a thrilling encounter, Kingfisher East Bengal secured 3-2 wins over Churchill Brothers in the fourth round match of the Hero I-League 2017/18 played at the Vidyasagar Krirangan (Barasat Stadium) on Saturday evening.
It was the visitors who drew first blood and that too against the run of play. Nicholas Fernandes´ cross into the box towards Uttam Rai was intercepted and brought down by Arnab Mondal. The loose ball, in turn, was laid down by Israil Gurung for Peter Omoduemuke who made a sharp run in towards the box. The Nigerian´s first-time shot went into the top right corner of the net as Churchill Brothers had scored their first goal of the season!
That joy was short lived as Katsumi Yusa started a counter-attack, feeding the ball to Willis Plaza who swiveled to find Laldanmawia Ralte beating his marker. The former Aizawl FC man equalized within a minute and few seconds, bringing up his third goal of the season.
Kingfisher East Bengal remained the dominant side throughout the first half and that was reflected well as they walked into the half-time break a goal ahead, scored by Willis Plaza in the injury time.
The Trinidad and Tobago international was fed a dangerous cross from Katsumi Yusa from the left and despite Suraj Singh and Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw marking him Plaza was able to get the header in, marking the end of his barren run in front of goal.
Just on the stroke of the hour mark, the Goan side found the equalizer through Nicholas Fernandes. The former Sporting Goa player ran in from the left side as Prakash Sarkar was beaten for pace. He then lobbed the ball into the net with a beautiful left-footer which silenced the home crowd.
That triggered the attacking substitutions of Mohammed Rafique and Charles De Souza into the Kingfisher East Bengal mix.
James Kithan kept Churchill on the hunt by pulling off three brazen saves within a seven-minute period. All of Ralte, Plaza and Mahmoud Al Amna´s shots did not go past the Churchill custodian.
It was only in the last minute of added time that Katsumi Yusa´s flag kick was helped into the goal with Willis Plaza rising the tallest who silenced his critics by scoring the winner, sending the home crowd back home happy.
The Red and Gold brigade now move into the third spot on the table with seven points and will play Chennai City away on 22nd December. Churchill Brothers are slated to play Chennai City three days prior and they are now rooted to the bottom of the table with no points yet.
Full-time: East Bengal 3-2 Churchill Brothers
90+7: Goal!! Willis Plaza scores for East Bengal
90+5: Substitution for Churchill Brothers Eric Nwaimo OFF Franko Paul IN
90: Five minutes of additional time.
88: Yellow card Ogba Kalu Kalu Nnanna
87: Substitution for East Bengal Laldanmawia Ralte OFF Brandon Vanlalremdika IN
85: Yellow card Willis Plaza
80: Yellow card Charles do Vale de Souza
78: Substitution for Churchill Brothers Joshauh vaz OFF Alber Gonsalves IN
71: Substitution for East Bengal Bazie Armand OFF Charles do Vale de Souza IN
69: Yellow card Eduardo Soares Ferreira
69: Substitution for East Bengal Cavin Peter Lobo OFF Mohammed Rafique IN
60: Goal!! Nicholas Fernandes scores for Churchill Brothers
56: Yellow card Peter Oghenebrorhien Omoduemuke
53: Yellow card Laldanmawia Ralte
46: Second half kicked off
Half-time: East Bengal 2-1 Churchill Brothers
45+2: Goal!!! Willis Plaza
45: Two minutes added
27: Substitution Yendrembam Denechandra Meitei OFF Joshauh vaz IN
18: Goal!! Laldanmawia Ralte
16: Goal!! Peter Oghenebrorhien Omoduemuke scores for Churchill Brothers
1: First half kick-off
Churchill Brothers Goa line-up: James Kithan (GK); Ban Nonghklaw, Suraj Singh, Monday Osagie, Dene Meitei; Nicholas Fernandes, Israil Gurung; Kalu Ogba, Peter Omoduemuke, Uttam Rai; Eric Obinna.
East Bengal line-up: Mirshad K (GK); Prakash Sarkar, Eduardo Ferreira, Arnab Mondal, Salam Ranjan Singh; Armand Bazzoau, Cavin Lobo; Katsumi Yusa, Mahmoud Al Amna, Laldanmawia Ralte; Willis Plaza.