East Bengal paid the price for countless missed opportunities as Santosh Kashyap's side continue their impressive run of form...
Santosh Kashyap made three changes to his side from the last game against Pailan Arrows as Robin Gurung, who returned to fitness following a hamstring problem, A. Naresh and Keniston C. made it into the lineup. Trevor Morgan introduced Saumik Dey and Naoba Singh for Raju Gaikwad and Robert Lalthlamuana in his starting eleven.
The match was a tale of missed chances for East Bengal. Coming of a morale-boosting 4-1 thrashing of Salgaocar over the weekend, the visitors started the brighter side and should have been ahead early on. However, Penn Orji lost his footing at the vital moment in the penalty area and was dispossessed.
Their next opportunity came in the 38 minute, when after a flowing move, last game’s hat-trick hero Edeh Chidi evaded the goalkeeper but ended up delaying his shot way too much and was eventually hustled off the ball.
In the 43rd minute, Naoba Singh delivered an inviting cross from the right but Robin Singh produced a very weak shot from six yards out, that lodged into the grateful hands of Rehensh TP in the ONGC goal.
As the Red and Gold failed to capitalise on their numerous clear chances both teams drew a blank going into the break.
Whatever was said in the ONGC dressing room during the breather, certainly seemed to work, as the hosts were a lot tighter in the second half denying the Kolkata-based outfit as many clear sights of goal as they had in the previous period.
But the better chances still came the way of the men from the east. Ishfaq Ahmed’s pinpoint delivery was headed inches wide byRobin Singh with the keeper out of position, while Uga Okpara replicated the effort from a deep Mehtab Hussain corner.
Trevor Morgan’s side would eventually pay for those squandered opportunities as they conceded of a rare but swift ONGC counter-attack by Katsumi Yusa.
With the result ONGC continue their fine run of form, making it 3 wins out of the last four in the league and they are now in 7th place on 16 points. Meanwhile, East Bengal lose more ground in the title race and they remain 3rd on 27 points.
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