I-League: East Bengal held to 1-1 draw by Bharat FC
Newcomers Bharat FC rode on a dubious Kris Bright strike to hold East Bengal 1-1 in a floodlit I-League football fixture at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here.
Kolkata: Newcomers Bharat FC rode on a dubious Kris Bright strike to hold East Bengal 1-1 in a floodlit I-League football fixture at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here.
A wasteful East Bengal took the lead in the 41st minute through Ranty Martins but their lead was nullified with Bright scoring in the 65th minute after ramming into East Bengal goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury.
Having lost to Salgaocar 1-3 in their last outing, East Bengal thus continued their winless run ahead of the high voltage clash against Mohun Bagan on Tuesday. East Bengal were lucky to go 1-0 up minutes before the break as the Nigerian poked the ball that hit the back of the net taking a deflection of Arindam.
The replays suggested an offside position but the assistant referee's flag stayed down as Bharat FC looked animated. It was once again Bright who came to Bharat FC's rescue bringing home the equaliser which once again seemed to be dubious one as he almost ran into Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, forcing the ball in.
The East Bengal goalkeeper was down after the bad collision as stretcher was rushed in but Roy Chowdhury got up and the play was resumed. Incidentally it was the former New Zealand International who had scored the first goal for the club in their 1-2 loss to Royal Wahingdoh last month.
Desperate to regain the lead, Colaco brought in Dudu Omagbemi in the 74th minute but was not enough. Dudu's best chance came when he shot off a long ranger that missed the post by a few feet as they dropped points in a setback for East Bengal ahead of the 'Big' match. East Bengal slipped to seventh on the table with eight points from five matches, while Bharat FC remained rooted to the bottom of the 11-team standings with two points from four.
The hosts dominated the proceeding for the better part of the play but poor finishing let the team down. Martins had a fine opportunity in the 59th minute when he found an open net but his headed dropped in front of the goal and went over the bar. Bharat FC's goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya should also be credited for standing tall under the bar and thwarted some good effort by East Bengal.
East Bengal's other forward Baljit Singh Sahni also messed up a sitter in front of the goal when his close ranger missed by a whisker in the 77th minute as they failed to get back the lead. With two days to go for their much crucial derby against Mohun Bagan, East Bengal made six changes to their line-up with the ace Nigerian forward Martins as the only foreigner to start.
Colaco opted to rest their Kiwi marquee mideo Leo Bartos along with central defender Milan Susak, while ace forward Dudu Omagbemi was benched. The debutants from Pune on the other hand put up an unchanged XI who went down 0-1 in Bengaluru in their last match.