I-League 2018-19: William Opoku heaps more misery on lacklustre East Bengal
Third defeat on the trot for East Bengal as they go down 1-0 against the defending champions at home...

East Bengal’s misery continued as they tasted their third defeat on the trot against defending champions Minerva Punjab on Tuesday at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

William Opoku scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute to seal crucial three points for the visitors.

Alejandro Menendez made two changes in the East Bengal starting XI which went down 2-3 against Aizawl FC in the last match. Kassim Aidara was included in the starting XI for the first time in the ILeague season in place of Lalrindika Ralte while Brandon Vanlalremdika came in for Laldanmawia Ralte.

Paul Munster too made two changes in his Minerva lineup. Akashdeep Singh and Bala Alhassan Dahir came in place of Arashpreet Singh and Donatus Edafe.

A drab first half saw a series of misplaced passes as neither team could create an impact in the attacking third. The first shot on target of the match was in the 23rd minute when William Opoku entered the East Bengal box from the right but his shot went straight to Ubaid CK.

East Bengal’s only opportunity came in the 26th minute when Enrique Esqueda was brought down just outside the box by Lancine Toure but Lalram Chullova’s free-kick got deflected off the wall.

Alejandro introduced Samal Ali Mallick early in the second half in place of a misfiring Yami Longvah. 

Both teams increased their intensity in the second half of the match, upping the pace of the game. Esqueda came close to score the opening goal of the match in the 63rd minute as he attempted a long range shot at goal from the top of the box but Arshdeep Singh fisted the ball away.

70th minute onwards the East Bengal defence started crumbling as Minerva Punjab maintained a constant pressure.

The visitors finally broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when William Opoku slotted the ball home from Moinuddin Khan’s cross. Ubaid CK and Manoj Mohammad were completely clueless inside the box as they failed to judge the bounce of the ball. Opoku took advantage of the situation and tapped the ball home.

East Bengal continue to languish at the bottom of the league table after today’s defeat. They sit in the eighth position in the league table after collecting just six points from five matches.

Minerva Punjab, on the other hand, climbed to the second spot with 11 points from seven matches.


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