I-League | East Bengal overpowers Shillong as Churchill Brothers stop Chennai at home

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I-League | East Bengal overpowers Shillong as Churchill Brothers stop Chennai at home

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SportsCafe Desk

11/02/2018

The red and yellow brigade continued their winning run on the road in I-League as they defeated Shillong Lajong with a comprehensive 3-1 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Churchill Brothers and Chennai City FC played out a thriller that failed to produce a winner with the match ending 2-2.

It was one of those away games for East Bengal, where the side had to sit back and soak the pressure and wait for the right opportunity. However, Alejandro Menendez’s men showed clinical display in the attacking third with their movements and it was Jobby Justin, who broke the deadlock as early as in the twelfth minute when Lalrindika Ralte’s perfect left-footed cross was headed in by the striker into the net. The opening goal was followed by a flurry of attacks by Shillong Lajong but they couldn’t really break the defence of Borja Gomez and Jhonny Acosta. And just when the hosts were looking to make a comeback in the match anytime, Justin struck again in the 41st minute. 

The match was far from over for East Bengal still had to defend another half of Shilong’s wave of attacks and their apprehensions were well founded when Rakesh Pradhan pulled one back for the hosts to keep hopes alive. However, a side is most susceptible to conceding goals just after scoring and Shilong did just that just three minutes after their scoring when Khangembam Bidyashagar Singh scored East Bengal’s third in the 74th minute. East Bengal sit first on the table with six points from two games.

In terms of entertainment, however, it was the other clash of Wednesday that gave fans their money's worth. The first goal of the match came as early in the ninth minute when a skilful Nestor Gordillo for Chennai City played a clever one-two with Pedro Manzi before charging into the box and slamming one in. While Churchill Brothers tried had to respond instantly, they took until the 51st minute to get the equalizer when Israil Gurung's corner-kick was headed home by Nenad Novakovic.

The dead match had suddenly regained its tempo and having the momentum on their side, Churchill went on to get another seven minutes later. Chennai’s goalkeeper committed a huge blunder at the goalline when Clencio Pinto saw the ball had come out of the keeper's hands with Israil Gurung near to slam it home. Chennai had to react fast and they did so just four minutes later when Sandro Rodriguez collected the ball from the right flank with a deft touch to escape his close marking and slotted it home past James Kithan.

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