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18 February 2014
• Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium), Kalkātā (Kolkata), West Bengal
Referee: P. Singh
This was Atanu Mitra taking you through the Live action for the last 90 minutes. Stay tuned to Goal as the UCL night beckons. Goodbye!
Full Time: East Bengal 0-0 Churchill Brothers. Title contenders suffer a huge blow against defending champions. Armando and Bhowmick shaking hands and it's a photographer's delight. The supporters however, did have little to be joyous about.
90' + 1'
Three minutes added, but none of the teams looking potent to break the deadlock.
CHANCE! TULUNGA! HORRIBLE FIRST TOUCH! Chidi played a sublime through ball to the veteran, but his first touch sends the ball to the goalkeeper.
CHANCE! OFFSIDE! Wolfe was offside as he stayed near the goal-line and plays spoilsport to another good move by Churchill from the left.
Sueoka comes off to make soace for Lobo. Churchill have a free-kick now, but that is cleared by Arnab and Tulunga. However, Chidi concedes a foul in the midfield.
Cavin Lobo looks set to come in now. Can he score that all-important goal for his title-chasing side?
Chidi wastes another chance! Once again, spends too much time on the ball and takes a shot, but that went yards away from the goal.
Another yellow card! Khabra pulls off a tactical down to stop a Shabana run and goes into the referee's book.
Yellow Card Harmanjot Singh Khabra
Shabana has been yellow carded for play-acting. Too many tricks from the Egyptian footballer.
Yellow Card Abdelhamid Shabana
CHANCE! MOGA! OFFSIDE! A brilliant ball long ball was received well by Moga, who looked on course to do something fruitful for the first time, but the flag is raised and it's an offside.
If there is any award for the most boring most boring match of the season, this fixture may go on to win it. Such unplanned football from both the sides. Churchill have been much better though.
Scrappy play from the East Bengal midfield lets them down once again. Sueoka and Mehtab choose to showcase their skills and loses the ball in the process.
CHANCE! Chidi Edeh takes a shot from outside the Churchill box, but his shot was wide of the preferred destination. However, he could have passed it to Sueoka, who was in a much better position to shoot.
A few substituions from both the coaches as they try to inculcate renewed energy into the sides.
CHANCE! Tulunga wastes a golden chance as he flies a ball from inside the box, after a weak ball fell to his feet.
Yellow Card Robert Lalthlamuana
Balwant Singh is down after a knock and then Wolfe gets kicked in face by Robert. Churchill have a free-kick now.
Ralte had taken a trademark long-range effort but that was gathered easily by Lalit. Wolfe looking sharp, but Shabana and Lagos have been pretty ordinary.
CHANCE! James Moga was too slow on the ball and Ravanan makes a vital clearance.
It has become a very drab encounter after the breather. Now East Bengal build up an attack.
Chidi's frustration is clear now, as he tries a long range effort, though he had no space to shoot in front of him. The shot gets blocked and the move is spoiled.
Lalit Thapa, the Churchill goalkeeper, is down after a clash with James Moga, and is seeking medical attention on the field. Play stopped for a minute.
James Moga once again fail to latch on to a through ball played to him, as he fails to control the ball in the right end.
Harmanjot Singh Khabra
Harmanjyot Singh Khabra has been injected into action by Armando Colaco in place of Abhishek Das. Can he make any difference?
CHANCE! After some good work by Wolfe on the right edge of the box, he plays a good ball to the East Bengal box, and Lagos was unmarked when he headed the ball goalwards. The effort, however, was off target, much to the agony of the thin attendance.
OUCH! Ravanan tried to clear a ball that resulted from a weak goal-kick and almost directed it towards his own goal but the ball went out for a coner.
The action reumes and Churchill have a goal-kick in no time.
The players are coming out once again on the turf. The action was only a few minutes away now.
A half time substitution from Mariano Dias. Alesh Sawant makes way for Thangjam Singh.
This is Atanu Mitra taking a 5-minute break here before the action resumes again. In the meantime, you can get involved in the discussion tweeting at @Atanu00
East Bengal's defensive lapses once again came to the fore as Wolfe, Lagos and Balwant gave them a few torrid moments. Both the teams have got a few chances, but none of them could be called clear cut.
Half Time Scoreline: East Bengal 0-0 Churchill Brothers.
Only a few minutes left in this half. Can any of the teams score a goal in the dying minutes?
Churchill Brothers attacking at ease here. Another move down the right, that had Balwant as key man, but no result ultimately as a squre pass was not met by anyone. East Bengal defense having a horrible day.
CHANCE! After Gurwinder failed to make a routine clearance, Alesh Sawant had a good chance to shoot from the edge of the box, but that went miles wide of the target.
Once again, Moga was at the thick of things as he fails to reach a ball before the Churchill shot-stopper. Another bad day in office from the South Sudanese striker.
Churchill trying to rely on ground-passes while going forward. Red and Golds, on the other hand, playing to many long-passes to the towering forward duo.
Yellow Card Raju Mangang
Another good move from the hosts and this time Chidi takes his time before playing the ball to Abhishek on the right wing, but Raju Yumnam brings the full-back down. The Robert free-kick was cleared for a corner and Lalit Thapa manages to fist away the ball with ease after the corner.
CHANCE! CHURCHILL defense goes for a quick nap and Chidi Edeh reaches a brilliant through ball from Tulunga and pulls the trigger 10 yards from the target but his bullet-like shot goes wide of the target. For some moments, that looked destined for the top corner.
End-to-end football from both sides. Shabana has failed to make his mark till now. Ryuji Suoeka has been equally quiet, if not more.
WOLF(E) in the East Bengal defense. The Trinidad player pulls off a roulette and gets rid of Arnab Mondal, but fails to play a key pass inside the box and Churchill fail to reap the harvest of that brilliant piece of skill.
TOO MANY THINGS HAPPENING HERE! A couple of shots from the East Bengal strikers was saved well by Lalit and now the ball has been sent out of the ground as a Churchill player seeks medical attention.
Chidi Edeh has been brough down in front of the penalty box, but the free-kick was tame and was blocked by the Churchill wall and went out for a corner. The corner was a short one and East Bengal couldn't take any advantage of that.
East Bengal trying to get a foothold here. Lalit had almost messed up while gripping a long range effort from James Moga. However, no danger done for the travellers as he collects it neatly in the second attempt.
Chidi had almost got hold of a thorugh ball but Lalit Thapa was prudent enough to come out and gather it himself. On the resultant ball, Wolfe tries to invade the opponent box, but he was deemed offside.
A few throw-ins have lowered the pace of the match, but the gap between East Bengal defense and midfield seems to be ever-increasing. One of those bad days of Mehtab Hossain till now.
CHANCE! Some action of the other end of the pitch now, as Lalrindika Ralte rises above all to head a Mehtab Hossain corner goalwards, but the effort went out by a few inches. First real chance for the hosts here.
CHANCE! Brilliant link-up between Lagos and Wolfe had almost opened up he East Bengal attack, but a bad square ball from Lagos messes it up. However, Balwant unleashes a long-range effort which forced a brilliant save from Gurpreet. Classy show by the defending champions till now.
Complete domination from the Red Machines here. They are creating one attack after another. East Bengal seem to be running out of energy as well.
Now a lapse of concentration from Abhishek Das almost sets Sawant on goal, but Gurpreet saves the fort again.
Yellow Card Mehtab Hossain
CHANCE! WASTED! After a diagonal ball went unattended by the Churchill defense line, Tulunga tried to play a simple pass inside the box to Chidi, who could have had a good look at goal. However, it was a bad misspass from Mama and the chance goes down begging.
YELLOW CARD! Mehtab Hossain, the East Bengal captain is the first man to go into the referee's book after a foul on Shabana.
AGAIN! Churchill have once again created the move patiently as Wolfe goes almost to a one-on-one position with Gurpreet after been fed with a through ball, but the East Bengal custodian was alert to come out of his line and parry away the danger.
Anthony Wolfe got the ball in front of the box after a goof-up by East Bengal defense, but his first shot as blocked by Gurwinder. However, he then plays the ball to the right flank on the rebound, but ALESH SAWANT misses a golden chance to shoot from inside the box. Good start from the Goan side, but that was an easy chance.
East Bengal having the early share of possession, but here they are in danger!
As Pratap Singh blows the whistle, Lagos and Wolfe play a pass among themselves to start the proceedings. Here we go!
This is Atanu Mitra, ready to take you through the action for the next 90 minutes live from the venue. You can get in touch with me via twitter on @Atanu00. Stay tuned.
A minute of silence in the memory of Denzil Franco's father, who has passed away recently. Rest in peace, Sir.
East Bengal accompanied by kids on their way to the ground. Good gesture shown by the hosts.
It's very quiet here at the Salt Lake Stadium. Very unusual compared with the earlier fixtures of East Bengal. Shows how a bad patch can affect the supporters' morale.
The players are coming out of the tunnel. But it seems to be a very poor turn-out as the defending champions face arguably the strongest squad of the league.
Alemao Churchill and Valanka are present in the VVIP Box to watch the match! The Red Machines will be trying to pull off a memorable away win here, just like they did against the Red and Golds last year, when a first-half Henry Antchouet brace helped them thrash East Bengal 3-0 in a vital I-League tie.
Want to get involved? Send in your predictions to @Goal_India. You can also connect to me directly on @Atanu00.
The pre-match warming sessions are over. Very very low turn-out till now.
Churchill Brothers XI: Lalit Thapa, Yumnam, Ravanan, Satish Singh, Balmuchu, Lenny, Alesh, Shabana, Wolfe, Balwant, Lagos.
East Bengal XI: Gurpreet, Abhishek, Arnab, Gurwinder, Robert, Mehtab, Ralte, Tulunga, Sueoka, Chidi, Moga.
We have received the team-lists in the press box and without any further ado, here go the strating line-ups.
Churchill have one of the most lethal attacking partnerships of the nation, that boasts of Cristian Lagos, Anthony Wolfe and Balwant Singh. Abdelhamid Shabana, the latest sensation of the competition will try to marshal the midfield with Lenny Rodrigues and Alesh Sawant.
Talking about the travellers, Churchill Brothers have staged a dramatic comeback from their dismal start to the season, having won the Federation Cup last month. Their good run continued in the league also, where they defeated Rangdajied United a few days back.
Uga Okpara remains absent for the Red and Golds, and Gurwinder Singh will pair up with Arnab Mondal at the heart of the defense. Mehtab Hossain is back in action, while the young Abhishek Das looks all set to get his 3rd start of this I-League campaign in place of out-of-form Naoba Singh.
East Bengal have suffered a horrible winter break, that included a group league exit from the Federation Cup, a loss to arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and a 0-3 drubbing in the hands of Shiekh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in the semi-finals of the IFA Shield. The only achievement has been the triumph in the Calcutta Premier League.
Hello and welcome to Goal’s live coverage of the I-League as East Bengal is set to play host to Churchill Brothers today at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
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