CFL 2019/20: Bhawanipore score late to draw with East Bengal

KALYANI, WEST BENGAL: East Bengal and Bhawanipore FC missed a chance to go on top of the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ log after playing out a 2-2 draw at Kalyani Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Bhawanipore did not need extra motivation to follow up their win against Mohammedan SC with another winning performance. However, East Bengal had other ideas and wasted little time to make their intentions clear through Pintu Mahata who showed plenty of composure to beat Bhawanipore keeper Abhijit Das in a one-on-one situation in the 6th minute mark.

Having taken the lead, East Bengal got a much needed confidence boost and they increased their pressure up front dominating the game entirely with poor finishing proving their weakness.

That’s not to say Bhawanipore didn’t have their chances. There were several occasions when they broke past the East Bengal backline and threatened 1v1 with goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte, however were failed to be as lethal as they needed to be in front of goal as East Bengal took the slender lead into the half-time interval.

Bhawanipore regrouped and showed far more attacking intent after the break with a much-improved performance. Bayi Kamo Stephane kept the East Bengal backline busy as they tried to contain his speed, but he was eventually able to break them down and level the tie in the 58th minute with a smart run in behind the East Bengal back four to slot past a helpless Mawia.

However, East Bengal kept dominating both territorial and ball possession, showing glimpses of their attacking prowess. Alejandro Menendez’s troops poured forward with Jaime Santos Colado testing Abhijit, but to their credit Bhawanipore remained resolute in defence to keep their rivals at bay.

The pressure, however, took it’s toil as Borja Perez Gomez put East Bengal back in front with a clinical header from Colado’s free-kick in the 81st minute.

Nonetheless, East Bengal’s joy was short-lived as Sankarlal Chakraborty’s charges responded in the very next minute through substitute Jagannath Sana.

The game has become wide open in the final minutes offering both sets of players plenty of space to attack, but neither side was able to create any meaningful opportunities as the game finished in a stalemate.

The result was enough for both East Bengal and Bhawanipore to go level on points with log leaders Peerless SC (14 points), but trail to an inferior goal-difference. 

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