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CFL 2018: East Bengal defenders shining brightly this season

6:40 PM IST 19/08/18
East Bengal CFL 2018
The East Bengal backline deserves as much credit as the attackers for the club's success in the ongoing CFL 2018....

East Bengal registered yet another comprehensive win against Aryan on Saturday to climb to the top of Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division ‘A’ 2018.

It was a stellar show once again by Bastob Roy’s men which helped the team go top of the table, overtaking rivals Mohun Bagan on goal difference.

The Red and Golds have scored eight goals in four matches that too without conceding any. However, it must be noted that they had shipped a goal in their opening match against Tollygunge which was later abandoned after rain rendered the pitch unplayable. But the free-flowing football displayed by the team was a sight for sore eyes.

Mahmoud Al Amna’s introduction in the starting eleven after the Pathachakra match has completely changed the team’s style of play. The Syrian midfielder controls the game from midfield as well as provides support to the lone striker Joby Justin upfront.

East Bengal’s attack has been flawless without a doubt but credit must also be given to the defenders and the goalkeeper who have been doing a thankless job.

The likes of Mehtab Singh, Samad Ali Mallick and Lalram Chullova have been brilliant so far. Young Mehtab had come under severe criticism last season after his mistake cost his team vital points in their second last match of I-League against Shillong Lajong.

The youngster has come a long way and now looks much more composed at the back. Under Subhash Bhowmick’s tutelage, Singh has matured and is now a dependable customer at the heart of the backline.

Chullova and Mallick’s contribution must also be mentioned. The full-backs have a very important role in Bhowmick’s system. Their overlapping runs down the flanks and stellar crosses have often made the difference in games.

Goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar too has been impressive under the bar. In their first match of the season against West Bengal Police, East Bengal had completely dominated proceedings and the opponents had only two shots on target. But both the shots were dangerous could have gone in and changed the outcome of the game. Thanks to Dagar’s safe pair of hands, East Bengal collected full points and kept a clean sheet.

The goalkeeping position has been a cause of worry for East Bengal for quite a few seasons now. Since then, several big names have come to the club but failed to deliver which has seen them miss out on the I-League title on several occasions. Dagar has brought the much-needed assurance under the woodwork.

Once Costa Rican World Cupper Johnny Acosta and India international Salam Ranjan Singh join the side, the backline will look stronger.