East Bengal missed plenty of chances and failed to find a goal against Calcutta Customs in a goalless draw in their second 2018 Calcutta Football League (CFL) match at the East Bengal ground on Friday.
East Bengal made just one change in the starting lineup that defeated West Bengal Police on Monday. Young winger Bidyasagar Singh was brought in to replace Brandon Vanlalremdika. Bidyasagar started on the right flank and Laldanmawia Ralte moved to the left.
East Bengal got an early chance to break the deadlock in the fifth minute of the match when Lalrindika Ralte received a long ball at the edge of the box. But Ralte had pushed opponent defender Samuel Kane as he tried to get a shot on goal and the referee blew his whistle for a foul.
In the 14th minute, Didika squandered yet another chance from Samad Ali Mallick's cross. Samad delivered an inch-perfect cross into the box for Didika who just had the goalkeeper in front of him but he failed to connect his head properly and the ball went wide.
The Red and Golds dominated proceedings but failed to create an impact in the attacking third. Lone striker Gagandeep Bali looked completely clueless and failed to threaten the opponent's defence.
Calcutta Customs came close to score in the 37th minute when striker Eze Stanley dribbled past two East Bengal players and unleashed a shot at goal from the edge of the box. Rakshit Dagar came to East Bengal's rescue as he pulled off a great save to send the ball out for a corner.
Minutes later, Lalrindika Ralte got a similar opportunity to score at the other end when he took a shot at the Customs goal from inside the box but goalkeeper Suvam Sen's valiant effort under the bar denied him from scoring the goal.
Danmawia Ralte almost provided the breakthrough minutes before halftime. He received a through ball from a well-orchestrated move from the midfield and attempted a shot at goal but his strike hit the side-netting.
East Bengal made two changes in the second half. Mahmoud Al Amna and Brandon Vanlalremdika were introduced in place of Kamalpreet Singh and Bidyasagar Singh. The introduction of Amna meant that the formation changed from 4-2-3-1 to 4-1-4-1 with Didika Ralte and Amna operating just behind Gagandeep Bali.
The Syrian midfielder injected pace and thrust onto East Bengal's attack. The home side went all guns blazing right from the beginning of the second half but Amna was kept under strict surveillance as at least two players were around him whenever he touched the ball.
East Bengal continued to create chances but failed to break the deadlock. The easiest chance was missed by Brandon as he blasted the ball above the crossbar from a handshaking distance.
Gagandeep's outing was summarized when he missed the easiest chance of the match in the 87th minute. The forward failed to tap the ball in from inside the 6-yard box and as a result of wastefulness in front of goal, East Bengal were forced to settle for a draw.