AIFF Media Team
SHILLONG: Trevor Morgan's fortune as the new East Bengal Coach failed to change as his side slumped to their second defeat in a row to hosts Shillong Lajong FC at the JN Stadium on Sunday (May 1) afternoon.
Lajong beat the Red and Golds 2-1 in the Hero Federation Cup match -- courtesy goals from Sana (Chinglensana Singh) in the 33rd minute and Fabio Pena in the 62nd minute. For East Bengal, Do Donghyun scored one just prior the interval (44th minute).
While last Sunday's win had catapulted Lajong to sixth in the Hero I-League standings, this victory handed them a definite advantage before their away game against the same rivals within three days' time.
Even though the Reds were reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute after Robin Gurung was given marching orders for elbowing substitute Avinash Ruidas, East Bengal failed to take advantage of an extended seven-minute stoppage time.
The hosts were a relaxed lot coming into the tie and the approach only seemed to help their cause early on with the East Bengal back line feeling the heat.
The first real opportunity came the hosts' way as early as the 8th minute when following a Bipin Singh corner kick which Fabio Pena headed just wide. Three minutes later, Issac Chakchuak sent his shot lofted shot over the bar from just outside the box.
East Bengal were guilty of not building up well as Lajong continued to enjoy advantage. Their hard work paid off three minutes after the half hour mark when Sana headed one into the nets after a fine corner kick from Bipin Singh.
However, the joy of the local fans was short lived as barely 11 minutes later Do Donghyun converted after being delivered with a fine ball by Ranti Martins. Following a long ball forward from Lalrindika Ralte, Ranti caught it just before it went out and flicked it over for a charging Do Donghyun to head past Vishal Kaith for the equaliser as both side went into the break tied 1-1.
Crossing over Morgan made two changes at the hour mark bringing in the Sanju Pradhan in place of Shylo (Mama) and Avinash Ruidas for Dong.
However, barely were the changes been made that Fabio Pena changed the fate of the game. It was after a series of passes from close range on the right between Issac and Bipin that the ball fell to Fabio who made no mistake in converting. Fabio's tamed shot rolled into the nets as Rehenesh was caught unawares in the melee.
Signs of desperation were clearly visible in the East Bengal ranks thereafter as the match drew closer to full time. But a crowded Lajong backline meant that the visitors were unable to make any significant inroads. Credit also goes to Sana and Nim Tamang for suffocating Ranti at the back.
The return leg is slated to be played at the Barasat Stadium on May 4.
Posted on : Sunday May 01, 2016