KOLKATA: East Bengal returned to the winning ways in the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ following a 4-2 win over Kalighat Milan Sangha on Thursday at East Bengal Ground.
East Bengal didn’t get off the mark quite as quickly as they might have hoped with Kalighat MS proving strong tactically, setting up a deep block with pace up front for the counter attack.
Kalighat MS’ plan of attack was fairly straight-forward with a solid backline, some man-marking of the particularly problematic opponents and an aim to try and use the speed of Alexander Kouame to try and penetrate into the final third.
It’s a plan of attack which seemed to work reasonably well as Kalighat MS made several decent attacks however East Bengal were by far the more dominant side across the course of the first-half with poor finishing proving their weakness.
Despite East Bengal’s dominance, Kalighat MS caught the Red and Golds off guard in the 37th minute with a quick counter-attack which saw substitute Tuhin Sikdar run behind the East Bengal defence to put his side in front with his first touch of the match within seconds after coming on for Bhawani Jaiswar.
Nonetheless, Kalighat MS’ joy was short-lived as East Bengal equalize just four minutes later when Rohlpuia Pachuau whipped in a corner which is initially saved by Kalighat MS goalkeeper Somnath Dutta but Bidyasagar Singh pounced on the second ball to smash it into the roof of the net.
East Bengal’s spirits were lifted by the goal and they played out the final moments of the first-half with a lot of energy, which they brought with them when they returned from the break.
But they weren’t the only ones, determined not to lose a second straight match, Kalighat MS fought hard to not only keep themselves in the match but to try and find a goal which would send them ahead.
Unfortunately Kalighat MS weren’t able to keep up the pace, while East Bengal started to establish a comfortable rhythm whenever they found themselves in possession making it tough for their opponents to impose their game.
East Bengal took the lead at the hour mark after Pintu Mahata’s shot at the near post hit Kalighat MS defender Lassine Karamoko’s shoulder and found the back of the net.
It was 3-1 five minutes later when Juan Mera rounded Somnath and after anticipating a challenge from Karamoko he laid it for his fellow Spanish compatriot Jaime Colado, who finished into an unguarded net.
To compound the woes of Kalighat MS, Alexandre rashly challenged Rohlpuia for absolutely no reason. The red card inevitably came out, and Kalighat MS were two goals and one man down with 23 minutes to go.
While it was expected that East Bengal would apply more pressure on their opponents using their numerical advantage, substitute Rahul Jaiswal had other ideas as he got on the receiving end of a curling pass from the right side and blasted it into the far post to reduce the deficit for Kalighat MS in the 82nd minute.
However, Colado flexed his scoring muscles in next minute when reached on the end of a long ball from the deep by Borja Gomez Perez and calmly slotted past Somnath to put the result beyond any doubt.
Three points were enough for East Bengal to go level on points with log leaders Peerless SC (13 points), but trail to an inferior goal-difference.