An injury-time winner helped East Bengal register a narrow win over a much weaker George Telegraph in the seventh match of 2018 Calcutta Football League (CFL ) Premier Division ‘A’ on Wednesday.
A lacklustre East Bengal lacked fluidity in their game and were wasteful from the beginning of the match. It was not that they lacked intent but the players just couldn’t put the ball into the net.
After a listless first half, East Bengal began second half with zeal but once again they just could not manage to put the ball into the net.
Somewhat against the run of play, George Telegraph broke the deadlock in the 69th minute. From a counter-attack, Justice Morgan slotted the ball home silencing the home fans. George’s goal came as a huge blow for East Bengal fans who were staring at a defeat just four days before the Kolkata Derby.
The pressure started mounting as Mohun Bagan had defeated Aryan 2-0 earlier in the day. A defeat for the Red and Golds would mean that they would go into the derby with a three-point deficit.
Mahmoud Al Amna and co. increased the intensity of their attacks and looked desperate for goals. Their hunger paid off within six minutes as Mehtab Singh headed the equaliser from Amna’s cross.
Koushik Sarkar, who played his first match of the season, scored the winning goal for the Kolkata giants in injury time and helped them get the much needed full points.
While the three points will make the Kolkata Derby on Sunday an even-steven contest, East Bengal’s performance raised a lot of questions.
Subhash Bhowmick’s men could not replicate the kind of game they played against Pathachakra, Aryan and Tollygunge Agragami. Their performance graph has taken a dip since the last game against NBP Rainbow AC.
The swiftness in midfield, the off the ball movements of the players were missing in the last two matches. The two mundane performances are sure to raise concerns ahead of the derby especially when Mohun Bagan are looking in great shape.
Sankarlal Chakraborty’s men have scored seven goals in their last two matches and they head into the derby day in a positive frame of mind. They have clearly peaked at the right time and are raring to take on their rivals on the big day.
Subhash Bhowmick and Bastob Roy have a lot to think ahead of Sunday. The players need to up their game by a notch if they want a positive result. Only good thing is that Costa Rican Johnny Acosta is expected to sign for the club on Friday and will likely start in the defence to provide the much-needed solidity.