|By PADDY HIGGS
Having scored the most important goal of his infant East Bengal career, Andrew Barisic is now out to nail down a first XI spot at the I-League club.
After joining East Bengal in January from Indonesian club Arema, Canberra-born Barisic has found goals easy to come by in the second-tier Kolkata League.
But the former Gold Coast United and Melbourne Knights striker, who turns 27 on Friday, has had to battle No.1 striker Chidi Edeh for a place when it comes to the Red and Gold's league duties.
He began Sunday's IFA Shield semi-final against Mohun Bagan among the substitutes, but made a memorable impression when he came on in the second half.
With East Bengal trailing 1-0 as time ran out, Barisic lashed home a superb equaliser and then converted his side's second penalty as the Red and Gold prevailed from the spot.
East Bengal meet Prayag United - featuring former Melbourne Victory marquee Carlos Hernandez - in the final on Wednesday, and Barisic is determined to make a starting spot his own.
"No I am not a super sub. I want to get as many starts as possible. This is my first season with East Bengal. And I want to make a mark. I want to score goals whenever I get a chance," Barisic told The Telegraph on Tuesday.
"I have no issues. Chidi is doing a wonderful job. He is scoring goals regularly."
Barisic's heroics contrasted directly with that of close friend Tolgay Ozbey, who - like his compatriot - came on as a substitute for Mohun Bagan in the semi-final.
Ozbey has been a key figure for Mohun Bagan but was rumoured to have had a bust-up with coach Karim Bencherifa after the match over how he was used.
Bencherifa, however, told The Telegraph that "locker-room related matters should remain in the confines of the locker room itself".
- With Goal India