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Played
April 9, 2013 3:15 PM IST
Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) — Kalkātā (Kolkata), West Bengal
Referee:‬ G. Robesh‎
Attendance:‬ 7000‎
 

East Bengal 2-1 Tampines: Ralte's late strike clinches victory for the hosts

East Bengal emerged victorious against Tampines Rovers FC courtesy of Lalrindika Ralte's wonder-goal in the AFC Cup.

By Atanu Mitra

East Bengal, Tampines Rovers, AFC Cup
FAS

East Bengal entertained Singapore side Tampines Rovers FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in their AFC Cup encounter which ended 2-1 in favour of the hosts, thanks to a glorious strike from Lalrindika Ralte in the dying moments.

East Bengal started with their usual 4-3-1-2 formation. Trevor James Morgan made a few surprising changes to the starting line-up. Uga Okpara was left out of the team as Raju Gaikwad and Gurwinder Singh started at the heart of the defense. Harmanjot Singh Khabra started as the right back as Naoba Thakchom was not included even in the reserve bench.

Penn Orji started in his regular position as an attacking midfielder just behind the forward line of Andrew Barisic and Manandeep Singh. Though Chidi Edeh was fit to start the match, the prolific Nigerian was left on the bench. Morgan later explained in the post match conference that Chidi and Okpara could not start the game because their jerseys strangely did not arrive before the game.

Tampines Rovers, started in a 4-3-3 formation with Aleksandar Duric as the central forward, aided by Jamil Ali and Imran Sahib on the flanks. Mustafic Fahrudin played as the pivot in the middle of the pitch.

The game started with both teams trying to snatch an early goal. The first chance fell to the away team when Firdaus Kasman had an attempt at goal inside the opening two minutes. But the midfielder’s shot failed to test the East Bengal custodian Abhijit Mondal, as it flew past the crossbar.

The home team got its first opportunity when Penn Orji delivered a cross into the box, leaving Andrew Barisic only with the task of slotting it into the goal. The Australian forward however failed to hit the target as he wasted one of the many golden chances that the Red and Golds had.

The next good move was created by the home team’s winger Sanju Pradhan. The skipper elegantly dribbled past a few defenders before playing it to Khabra on the right. However, Sanju failed to convert the chance when Khabra fed him the return pass on the edge of the box.

Morgan used his first substitution in the 15th minute as Barisic made way for Chidi Edeh, their leading scorer this season. The early change added a spark to the East Bengal attacks, as Manandeep paired up well with the Nigerian upfront.

The home team made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute when Manandeep Singh trapped controlled the ball with his chest and played a good pass to Chidi Edeh. The talismanic Nigerian’s first touch was excellent and he followed it up with a neat finish. Though Sasa Dreven, the goalkeeper of Tampines Rovers got his fingertips onto the ball, he was unable to prevent the goal.

The goal saw the away side attacking with gusto, as Jamil Ali played a few quality balls into the box but Duric was unable to apply the finishing touch. East Bengal got its next opportunity in the 30th minute, when Chidi Edeh’s shot was well saved. Lalrindika Ralte missed a couple of chances in a span of five minutes. First, in the 35th minute, he shot wide when Chidi played him the ball in the six yard box with only the keeper to beat. It was only 5 minutes later, that Ralte curled a ball past the far post from the edge of the box.

The first half ended with the home team retaining their 1-0 lead, but that was hardly a reflection of the game, as East Bengal were very wasteful in the opponent’s box.

After the break, the away team put on a brilliant display of possession football. Only six minutes into the half, Firdaus Kasman tested Abhijit Mondal with a strike from range. Duric then tested the East Bengal keeper in the 65th minute with a dangerous chip.

However, the Singaporean side were rewarded for their hard work in the 69th minute when Mohamad Shaiful scored a stunning free-kick. They then a chance to take the lead, when the substitute Hadzibulic dodged Abhijit Mondal, but Raju Gaikwad pulled off a brilliant sliding tackle to block the shot.

The Kolkata side then rallied in search of a winner and in the 83rd minute, Ralte had his shot blocked after latching onto a Chidi Edeh’s cross along the turf. However, Ralte came up trumps for the hosts with only 3 minutes of normal time remaining. The forward found the back of the net with a spectacular curling effort from 27 yards out, that sealed the victory for East Bengal.

The win means the Kolkatan side move to 10 points in 4 games, and are now top of Group H, three points ahead of Sai Gon Xuan Thanh, who have a game in hand.

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East Bengal F.C.

1
Abhijit Mondal
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
Raju Gaikwad
Defender
 - 
16
Gurwinder Singh
Defender
 - 
29
Saumik Dey
Defender
 - 
7
Harmanjot Khabra
Midfielder
 - 
14
Mehtab Hossain
Midfielder
 - 
15
Sanju Pradhan
Midfielder
81′
 - 
8
Penn Orji
Midfielder
 - 
20
Lalrindika Ralte
Midfielder
86′
 - 
36
 - 
27
 - 

Tampines Rovers FC

 - 
-
Saša Dreven
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Jufri Taha
Defender
 - 
6
 - 
12
Anaz Hadee
Defender
 - 
7
 - 
4
 - 
8
 - 
11
Imran Sahib
Midfielder
 - 
24
Firdaus Kasman
Midfielder
78′
 - 
17
Jamil Ali
Midfielder
65′
 - 
9

Substitutes

36
Jayanta Paul
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
Uga Okpara
Defender
 - 
19
 - 
12
 - 
6
 - 
10
Edeh Chidi
Striker
15′ 22′
 - 
24
Cavin Lobo
Midfielder
81′
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
13
 - 
23
 - 
-
Martín Wagner
Midfielder
78′
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
19

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
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Striker
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Striker
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Striker
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6 1
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Striker
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6 1
Nguyễn Văn Quyết Nguyễn Văn Quyết
Midfielder
Ha Noi TT FC
6 0