10 man East Bengal edge past the fighting Indian Arrows
Even after being a man down in the early minutes of second half, the East Bengal team managed to get full 3 points against a spirited Indian Arrows side at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.
New signing Antonio Dovale started for East Bengal along with Joby Justin and Jaime Santos to form a front three with Kassim Dika Danmawia in the midfield. However it wasn’t easy for the away side and it took 25 minutes to break the deadlock after Jaime Santos put in a brilliant cross from the left which was volleyed in from an incoming Laldanmawia Ralte from top of the box. Laldanmawia Ralte also managed to earn East Bengal a penalty in the 35th minute after he was tripped inside the box. Lalrindika Ralte stepped up to take the spot-kick however his weak attempt was easily saved by the Arrows custodian Gill and East Bengal managed to go into the break with the 1-0 lead.
After the break, East Bengal was down to 10 men after Lalramchullova was shown a direct red after he “Headbutted” onto an Arrows player. With a man down and more than 35 mins remaining, it seemed East Bengal might drop point however it was none other than the marksman Joby Justin who came from behind to slot the ball in from a rebounded shot from Samad Ali Mallick who was excellently put through on goal by Toni Dovale. East Bengal managed to hold onto the lead until Arrows gave some late scare with Manoj Mohammed conceeded a penalty in the 90th minute which was put in by Ninthoinganba Meetei from the spot for a late consolation.
With this win, East Bengal has now finished their first leg of matches with 19 points sitting 4th in the league table with a game in hand against all others. East Bengal will face the league leaders Chennai City FC next on 14th January at Coimbatore.