SC East Bengal snatched three points with a thrilling 3-1 win over Odisha FC. The much-needed victory, which was the first one in the tournament for the red and gold brigade, came in match number 45 of ISL today.
Both teams had fought head to head but the ability to finish took the red and golds as their much-coveted victory in this season of ISL. This win did not change their position as the team remained at the 10th spot While Odisha remained at the bottom.
SC East Bengal starts with two changes in the team with Milan Singh and Raju Gaikwad in the place of Surchandra Singh and Sehnaj Singh. The Odisha team remained unchanged from their previous match.
SC East Bengal kicked off high and mighty from the start and within 12’ they drew the first blood. A nice throw of Raju Gaikwad found Anthony Pilkington and the expert nodded it to the far side of the goal, just outside the reach of Arshdeep Singh.
After conceding the first goal, Odisha got two fair chances. Diego Mauricio and Manuel Onwu created two scoring opportunities but Debjit Majumder cleared both of them.
SC East Bengal doubled their lead at the 39’. A strong run of Jacques Maghoma with a sincere pass of Steinman helped the Red and Golds to increase the lead. At the half time, SC East Bengal was having a 2-0 lead over Odisha.
From the start of the second half, Odisha put all their effort to settle the score. Onwu and Diego Mauricio tried hard to find the net but Debjit became a strong barrier for SC East Bengal.
SC East Bengal substituted Surchandra, Bright Enobakhare, and Ankit Mukherjee to replace Tomba, Maghoma and Raju in the second half. While it strengthened the back, the gunners scored another one at 88’. Debutant Bright marked a fine shot that found the bottom corner of the net.
Odisha FC got a consolation prize in the added time. SC East Bengal conceded their 11th goal as Diego Mauricio scored one from Onwu’s cross.
The win of SC East Bengal was built upon the performance of Pilkington, who deservedly got the ‘Hero of the Match’ award. With 52 touches, the opening goal, 4 tackles and a 8.91 rating, his impact was what differentiated two sides.
The match was evenly placed as both teams controlled the ball possession almost equally. However, it was the ability to finish in the attacking third that makes the difference.
This first win from 8 matches will surely boost the morale for the boys in Red and Gold, while it is yet to come for the Odisha side in the same number of matches. They will try to find the elusive victory in their next match against Kerala Blasters. It will remain to see if the victory helps to turn the tide for SC East Bengal in the tournament when they face FC Goa in the next match.