Tag: Arnab Mondal

Despite win defensive woes continue for East Bengal

Coimbatore: East Bengal beat Chennai City FC 2-1 in their first away fixture of I-League 2017/18 on Saturday, but their defensive woes continues as they have failed to keep a clean sheet in all 5 of their matches this season with the hosts exposed vulnerability in the Red and Golds’ back-line from set pieces.

The surface was terrible at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore, but so poor was East Bengal’s performance that not even the excuse of a bad surface could save them.

The result did saw East Bengal leapfrog to the second spot of the I-League table with 10 points from 5 matches but have conceded the most number of goals amongst the top four teams in the standings.

Chennai City FC were a clever side, but they used the same method that others already have this season to take apart a East Bengal side that have become far too predictable. Long balls through or over the middle left East Bengal in ruins, scrambling for position. The midfield was stretched, the defense overwhelmed.

Everything about East Bengal’s defending was off against Chennai City FC. Skipper Arnab Mondal looked troubled in the center and Lalramchullova out of place at right back which is affecting the rest of the team as creativity remained thin, with Mahmoud Al Amna virtually the sole source of inspiration.

East Bengal’s individual quality wrestled them back into the match, but it will take them a whole lot more than that if they are to win the I-League this season.

Coach Khalid Jamil regularly chops and changes his defense, notably rotating his full-backs, which has made it impossible to achieve any kind of continuity.

While East Bengal’s attacking football will continue to nourish hopes of capturing the I-League title after 15-long years, their defensive issues may prove a fatal flaw.

Arnab Mondal set his eyes on I-League title

NEW DELHI: After finishing third in the previous edition of the I-League, East Bengal skipper Arnab Mondal has set his eyes on winning the elusive I-League trophy for the Kolkata outfit in the 11th edition of the domestic league which is slated to kick-off from November 25, 2017.

“We want to win the I-League. It is as simple as that”, a confident Arnab Mondal said on the sidelines of the I-League launch in the nation’s capital yesterday. “A successful campaign for us will be winning the Hero I-League and we are focused on achieving the same.”

The Red and Golds have always been title challengers in the I-League finishing third last season with 33 points out of 18 matches, finishing below arch rivals Mohun Bagan and four points adrift of champions Aizawl FC.

“The best result for us will be winning the I-League and that is also my personal target. I want to lift the Hero I-League trophy with East Bengal in my career”, after a pause, he adds, “Individually, I am hell-bent on winning this trophy. In a sense, this trophy means a lot to me and winning it would mean the world to me.”

The defender further said that he will dedicate the I-League win to the fans. “If we win the I-League, it will be for the fans. They have been our support and have cheered for us through thick and thin. They deserve to be rewarded and we are striving on giving this gift to our fans”

But certainly, it will be tough as the Kolkata outfit face defending champions Aizawl FC in their opening fixture of the campaign. “Every team in the I-League presents its own challenges. No team is easy and every team plays to win. The challenge for us is to outplay them and secure the results”

“The pressure is always there when you play at the highest level but if we win a couple of our opening matches and gather maximum points, we can breathe a little.”

“We have to take one match at a time and at the same time aim for a win in every match we play including the away fixtures”, Mondal stated.

CFL: Mohammedan denied a memorable win by Willis Plaza’s late goal


KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club were held to a 2-2 draw by East Bengal in their Calcutta Football League encounter on Saturday.

East Bengal took a early lead through Mahmoud Al Amna (2nd minute) only for Jiten Murmu (20th) to equalize for Mohammedan SC before Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka (67th) put the Black Panthers ahead, however Willis Plaza’s (87th) late goal helped East Bengal to escape with a 2-2 draw from a dramatic match at Kalyani.

The result meant Mohammedan SC remain on third position in the league table with 14 points while East Bengal moved to the summit with 19 points.

Going into the game, Mohammedan SC Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made four changes to the side from the previous match by handing starts to Jiten Murmu, Tirthankar Sarkar, Dipendu Dowary and Rana Gharami at the expenses of Manandeep Singh, Satyam Sharma, Prohlad Roy and Harjinder Singh.

East Bengal started the first half on the front foot and unsettled the Mohammedan SC defense in the 2nd minute itself when Al Amna slotted home after Arnab Mondal set up the Syrian from Mohammed Rafique’s free-kick to put East Bengal 1-0 up.

Having conceded early on, Mohammedan SC began attacking with intensity through Dipanda, Kalu Ogba and Dipendu Dowary. The pressure paid off as Mohammedan SC restored the parity at the 20th minute mark. Kalu made a run down the left and squared to Jiten inside the box who then rifled a fierce shot past East Bengal keeper Luis Barreto.

Thereafter, both sides had a few chances in the later stage of the half but couldn’t convert as the scoreline remained one-goal-a-piece going into the breather.

Mohammedan SC came out strong in the second half and began attacking from the word go. However, the East Bengal defense managed to hold on and clear all the attacks in the opening quarter.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC’s constant pressure finally paid off as they took the lead midway through the second half. Jiten with a good solo run went past a couple of defenders on the right before cutting back for Dipanda, on the edge of the box. The Cameroonian striker kept his calm to get a first time shot which the rival keeper failed to handle and the ball ended up in the net.

The Black Panthers almost got their third goal in the 73rd minute when Shekh Faiaz and Dipanda combined on the left flank. A quick one-two sent Faiaz clear and the lanky winger cut past two defenders only for his powerful drive to go inches over the horizontal.

Afterwards, both sides engaged in some end-to-end stuff. While Mohammedan SC had the better chances to go further up, East Bengal capitalized on a defensive error as Plaza scored three minutes from the time to pull East Bengal level.

Mohammedan SC battled hard in the final minutes looking for a winner, but East Bengal managed to hold on defending deep as the game ended 2-2.

CFL: East Bengal leave it late against Customs

KOLKATA: Carlyle Deon Mitchell struck twice in the second-half to give East Bengal all three points against Calcutta Customs in Calcutta Premier Division – A.

Though East Bengal won the match but were made to work hard for it as tournament debutantes Customs matched the Red and Golds squarely throughout at East Bengal Ground on Wednesday.

Going into the game East Bengal caoch Khalid Jamil were forced to make two changes from the side that beat Rainbow Athletic Club, by bringing in Richard Costa and Gurwinder Singh, who filled in for Arnab Mondal and Mohammed Rafique respectively.

East Bengal began the game in attacking mode and created a couple of close chances early on. While striker Suhair V.P did well to get into spaces, the youngster lacked the finish in the rival box.

As the half progressed, East Bengal started dominating the possession, but were surprisingly lacking in sharpness.

On the other hand, a defensive-minded Customs side kept the Red and Golds at bay for the majority of the first-half as the Khalid Jamil-coached side struggled to penetrate the solid back-line of Customs.

Near the interval Brandon Vanlalremdika set Suhair away down the right but Willis Plaza just could not make contact with his driven cross as both sides went into the breather tied at goalless.

East Bengal returned from the break with more intention and had the second-half’s first chance after 52 minutes when some good inter passing by Mahmoud Al Amna released Plaza but the Trinidadian blasted wide from close range.

Amna continued to be East Bengal’s dangerman, and at the hour mark he laid the ball to Laldanmawia Ralte in the vital area, but for Customs defender John Ampong’s timely clearance.

Customs had a half-chance in the 67th minute but Joseph Olaniran’s fizzed cross was just too close to East Bengal keeper Luis Barreto.

Thereafter, East Bengal started to press and eventually they took the lead in the 77th minute. Cavin Lobo played a short to Samad Ali Mallick, who delivered a great ball inside and Mitchell headed it towards goal with ease.

Meanwhile, Customs also attacked in search for the equalizer but faced a solid East Bengal defense led by the tall duet of Mitchell and Gurwinder.

Then, in added time Mitchell head home off a Cavin Lobo free-kick to seal victory.

CFL: East Bengal look to carry winning momentum against Customs


KOLKATA: Defending champions East Bengal will be keen to build on their impressive start to the 2017-18 Calcutta Premier Division – A campaign when they take on Calcutta Customs at East Bengal Ground on Wednesday.

Having defeated Rainbow Athletic Club 4-1 on this past Saturday, the Red and Golds will be riding high on confidence but the task on hand will not be easy for the Khalid Jamil-coached side.

The Red and Golds will have to do it without the services of their skipper Arnab Mondal and Mohammed Rafique as both are in the Indian national team camp at Mumbai.

“We began with a win but we can not be complacent. The league has just started and there is a long way to go. We need to remain focused on the task at hand,” said Jmail on the eve of the clash.

“There are no easy games for any team.  It’s is a very tight tournament and I see many teams that have the qualities. What I seen till now is that all the teams here are almost the same. It’s going to be a difficult game as all the other games and I hope we can win,” he added.

Facing Customs, East Bengal will be depending heavily on Suhair V.P, who scored a hat-trick on the other day against Rainbow AC, and Willis Plaza to fire upfront. Joining them will be the likes of Brandon Vanlalremdika, Mahmoud Al Amna and Laldanmawia Ralte who will provide options in the attack.

The defense will be led by Trinidadian Carlyle Mitchell alongside Gurwinder Singh, who fills in for Mondal.

“After the performance against Rainbow AC, the spirit is high in our camp. Though we will be missing a few players, but I have full faith on our bench strength. I am hopeful for a positive result tomorrow,” Jamil continued.

“We respect all the teams as they do with us. Our target is to win the tournament, but we are taking one game at a time.” he concluded.

The match at East Bengal Ground kicks off at 3:00 pm on Wednesday.

CFL: East Bengal target winning start against Rainbow

KOLKATA: Defending champions East Bengal will be seeking nothing less than a win against newbies Rainbow Athletic Club when the sides clash in the 2017/18 Calcutta Premier Division – A opener on Saturday.

The match at East Bengal Ground will be crucial to either team for distinct reasons. East Bengal will be aiming to begin their title defense without any hiccups at their own ground, while Rainbow AC will be eager to make a strong statement on their Calcutta Premier Division debut.

“We intend to approach the match with the mentality to get all the points from it, in a short league such as this every point is useful,” said coach Khalid Jamil.

Starting well in the first fixture in their Calcutta Premier Division – A  campaign would be important according to Jamil.

East Bengal will start the game with almost full strength squad, the 2016/17 I-League winning coach will rely on his Indian recruits like Laldanmawia Ralte, Gurwinder Singh, Garbriel Fernandes, Cavin Lobo beside three foreigners in Mahmoud Amnah, Willis Plaza and Carlyle Mitchell, who are expected to play a important role in the game.

However, the Red and Golds will be missing the services of their defensive mainstay Arnab Mondal along with Mohammed Rafique, Salam Ranjan Singh and Nikhil Pujary, all of whom are called to the Indian National Camp in Mumbai.

“We are not walking into this match thinking we are favorites and that Rainbow AC are the underdogs. It does not matter to us because football has and is changing a lot. With many teams improving always, it is a negative thing to over duel on a supposed advantage because of pedigree. It always comes down to 90-minutes for both teams and it is exactly how both sets of players will do within that time.” Jamil concluded.

Interestingly, these two teams faced off couple of days back in a pre-season game which ended in a 1-1 draw. Therefor the Red and Golds will be looking to make amends.

East Bengal kick start pre-season training

KOLKATA: Kolkata giants East Bengal kick-started their pre-season preparations on Monday with more than 200 fans present to welcome the players at club ground.

The defending Calcutta Football League Premier Division champions will be looking at launching their title defense under newly appointed head coach Khalid Jamil for the upcoming season.

After concluding a fantastic 2016/17 season which saw them win the CFL Premier Division for the seventh successive time and finish 3rd in the I-League, the Red and Golds are confident of defending their title back in Kolkata and do better in the national stage.

The core of the Indian contingent has been retained by the club, who have the likes of Arnab Mondal, Gurwinder Singh, Mohammad Rafique, Cavin Lobo, Samad Ali Mallick, Deepak Kumar and Luis Barreto in their ranks.

Meanwhile, the club has also secured the services of some exciting talents such as Brandon Vanlalremdika, Lalramchullova, Laldanmawia Ralte, Gabriel Fernandes, Salam Ranjan Singh, Richard Costa and Surabuddin Mallick. Beside promoting 7 academy players in Rahul Ghosh, Mehtab Singh, Yami Longvah, Prakash Sarkar, Bidyashagar Singh, Suranjit Singh and Lalcchanhima to senior team.

Speaking to the media coach Jamil said: “We have launched the pre-season with our focus on the CFL; which is our prime objective currently. We have a busy season ahead, so we have to keep our squad fit and free from injury.”

The club has decided to retain the services of Trinidadian forward Willis Plaza, who will join the team later this month as the 29-year-old has made into the Trinidad & Tobago national side for their upcoming friendly against Ecuador on July 26.

The other two foreigners in Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna and Trinidadian defender Carlyle Mitchell is expected to join club’s pre-season training next week.

The pre-season program will last a little less than a month would see East Bengal play a few practice games to set new combinations and fine tune the players ahead of the new season.