By Debayan Mukherjee,
AIFF Media Team
East Bengal 1 (Dudu Omagbemi – 90+6)
Royal Wahingdoh 0
MARGAO: East Bengal left it late, a little too late but in the nick of time to deny 10-man Royal Wahingdoh a morale-boosting draw in a tightly fought Group A Hero Federation Cup match here at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Wednesday (December 31, 2014).
Nigerian Dudu Omagbemi headed in from substitute Joachim Abranches’ cross after Leo Bertos took a short corner in the 96th minute of the match in which Wahingdoh played with ten men for 81 minutes including added time.
Lalmangaihsanga was red carded for a rude tackle on Abhishek Das in the 15th minute. India International Mehtab Hossain and Wahingdoh talisman Jackichand Singh came close to breaking the deadlock in the first and third minute of second half injury time.
Jackichand was guilty of not dribbling a few more yards from a one on one situation with goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury while Mehtab’s scooped effort from the edge of the box ballooned off the bar.
The last-gasp win gives East Bengal their first points while Wahingdoh sit on three after two matches.
Both East Bengal and Royal Wahingdoh made one change each from the last match. Abhishek Das replaced Deepak Mondal at left back while for Wahingdoh Samananda Singh filled Malsawmtluanga’s shoes.
Royal Wahingdoh made their intentions clear early on that they were not here to sit back and defend with both Jackichand and Bekay Bawar coming close in the 3rd and 4th minute respectively.
While the Manipuri who was the hero in the Shillong side’s first game worked Subhashish with a powerful shot which the keeper held onto, Bawar’s effort fizzed across goal in the next minute.
Santosh Kashyap’s wards looked the likelier of the two outfits to take the lead early on when Milan Susak was guilty of illegitimately bringing down Bekay Bawar in the air. The resultant freekick was on the edge of the box but Bawar’s take came off the wall.
Their joy though hit rough weather soon after. Lalmangaihsanga was given marching orders for a poor challenge on Abhishek with the East Bengal left-back taking some time to get back on his feet.
Down to ten men the newly-promoted team dropped deeper and were now looking to break on the counter.
Lalrindika Ralte and Dudu came to the forefront after the former set the Nigerian up with two good crosses only to see one saved and the other flagged offside. Dika found Ranti for the third time but the goal was not to come as the striker scuffed a glorious chance wide.
After the break, it was Dudu again spurning Mehtab’s through ball before he nodded into the net but the ball touched an offside Ranti’s leg en route.
For Wahingdoh, Bawar shot over and Jackichand jinked his way into the box only to under-hit his take. Joachim replaced an ineffective Cavin Lobo in the 70th minute as East Bengal pressed for the elusive.
The change eventually worked as Joachim played a decisive role in setting up the winner.
Posted on : Wednesday December 31, 2014