The only Saturday fixture of the Indian Super League was a very essential clash, as 6th-placed Bengaluru FC faced 9th-placed SC East Bengal.
The Blues had actually gone on their longest losing streak in ISL history, and coach Carles Cuadrat lost his task as a result of that, so Naushad Moosa was taking interim charge for the very first time tonight. The Red and Gold Brigade were resurgent as they were unbeaten in four, so they were arguably the favourites.
An appealing battle was set to take place, and here’s what we made from it:
Bengaluru FC pushed well early, and almost scored in the 15 th minute when Parag Shrivas’ long throw reached Cleiton Silva in the six-yard box after Juanan snapped it on, but his low header just bounced over the crossbar.
However, it was SC East Bengal who took the lead in the 20 th minute when Narayan Das played the ball across package from the left, and Matti Steinmann guided the ball in with the beyond his boot.
Oh my biriyani #BFCSCEB
— xxxxxx (@offbeatmonk) January 9, 2021
Das might have made it 2-0 in the 26 th minute as Ankit Mukherjee provided a low cross towards him, but the ball came at him too fast and he missed broad. 7 minutes later on, Erik Paartalu had a hit from outside package at the other end, but it was kept out by Debjit Majumder.
Bengaluru FC’s next huge possibility can be found in the 48 th minute when Sunil Chhetri exchanged a one-two with Kristian Opseth and let a volley fly towards the top corner from the left of the box, but Debjit amounted to it when again. Chhetri came close to scoring once again in the 62 nd minute when he opened a shooting angle at the edge of the box, however yet again, Debjit rejected him.
16 minutes later, Intense Enobakhare turned the ball over in the assaulting 3rd and opened a shooting angle at the edge of package, however his effort was tipped away by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Brilliant then went through on goal from the halfway line after surpassing a protector in the 82 nd minute, however Gurpreet came out and almost got a touch on the ball to avoid the ex-Wolves man from shooting.
East Bengal held out well in the end and came away with a should have 1-0 win.
Secret Talking Point
Different Coach, Exact Same Problems
After 3 beats in a row, head coach Carles Cuadrat paid with his task for Bengaluru FC’s bad form. Naushad Moosa, his assistant, was entrusted with steadying the ship up until the club discovered a successor, however tonight, the outcome didn’t alter.
The interim manager did make a couple of changes to the Blues’ lineup and system, though, as neither Kristian Opseth nor Deshron Brown was provided a beginning birth as Cleiton Silva ran as a striker.
The home side started well, pressing high up the pitch and with excellent strength. Quickly thereafter, their defence started to get exposed, and they conceded within 20 minutes. For the remainder of the very first half, they never ever looked like threatening East Bengal, so Moosa had an essential team speak to deliver. He must have said something right, as the Blues looked a lot much better in the second half, producing some great openings but constantly being prevented by Debjit Majumder. After the alternatives, however, their push for an equaliser fell away and they needed to resign to another defeat.
He got the strategies right in the 2nd half. Truly it was a video game of halves and GKs.
— BFC Ultras (@bfcultras) January 9, 2021
If anything summarize this chaotic night for Bengaluru FC, it is the truth that Rahul Bheke began as a centre-back, switched to right-back in the second half and completed at left-back. So, the Blues have the same issues to resolve, albeit with a different mind at the top.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu ( 6 ), Parag Shrivas ( 6 ), Rahul Bheke ( 6 ), Juanan ( 6 ), Ajith Kumar ( 4.5 ), Erik Paartalu ( 6.5 ), Suresh Wangjam ( 6 ), Udanta Singh ( 5 ), Dimas Delgado ( 5.5 ), Sunil Chhetri ( 7 *), Cleiton Silva ( 5.5 )
Subs: Kristian Opseth (6 ), Pratik Chaudhari (5.5 ), Namgyal Bhutia (5 ), Deshorn Brown (N/A), Amay Morajkar (N/A)
SC EAST BENGAL
Key Talking Point
East Bengal are Back
The start of the season was absolutely nothing except disastrous for SC East Bengal, as they were suffering at the bottom of the table and looked escape of their depth. Robbie Fowler cut an annoyed figure on the touchline, and some fans were even calling for his sacking.
Things have turned around for the ISL newbies now, however, as they are seeming a much-improved side, specifically with Bright Enobakhare in the mix. Robbie Fowler wasn’t on the touchline tonight owing to a one-match suspension, but his boys did just. They sustained some early pressure from Bengaluru FC, prior to taking control of the match by scoring in the 20 th minute. They held on to it too, easing into half-time with a comfy 1-0 lead. Their challengers grew more powerful in the 2nd half, however for when, the East Bengal defence held out very strongly.
Credit needs to be provided to Tony Grant, the primary guy on the touchline, who got his strategies area on tonight. To start with, he used his wing-backs completely in the very first half to push the Bengaluru wingers back and render them quite inefficient in attack. Then, in the 2nd half, he crucially brought on Aaron Amadi-Holloway in advance to supply a fresh outlet for his under-pressure defence– a guy who would hold the ball up and draw fouls or try to buy as much time as possible.
Good– another win! #JoyEastBengal
— Debapriya Deb (@debapriya_deb) January 9, 2021
This was maybe SC East Bengal’s best performance of the season, as the team looked meaningful and compact and excelled in nearly all departments of the game.
Debjit Majumder( 8 *), Ankit Mukherjee ( 7 ), Scott Neville ( 7 ), Raju Gaikwad ( 6.5 ), Daniel Fox ( 7 ), Narayan Das ( 7.5 ), Matti Steinmann ( 7 ), Milan Singh ( 6.5 ), Brilliant Enobakhare ( 7.5 ), Harmanpreet Singh ( 5.5 ), Jacques Maghoma ( 7.5 )
Subs: Mohammed Rafique (5 ), Aaron Amadi-Holloway (N/A)
East Bengal’s defence did a great task in this match, but when they were breached, Debjit Majumder proved unequalled.
The Indian goalkeeper wasn’t kept too hectic in the very first half, however he did a good task of keeping things clean at the back.
Even as a competing fan. So happy to see the revival of Debjit Majumder.
After a few rough years,. Debjit seems to be back to his best. Always ranked him highly, so discovered the fall surprising Tonight guaranteed all 3 points for SCEB
But where do BFC go from here #BFCSCEB #LetsFootball
— Maurya Mondal (@mauryamondal) January 9, 2021
The ex-Mohun Bagan man made 5 crucial saves, including 2 from shots inside package in the match, while likewise winning all of his aerial duels.
A match-winning display at the back.
What This Means:
Bengaluru FC remain in sixth location with their 4th successive loss, and SC East Bengal likewise hold position on goal distinction with a five-match unbeaten streak. Matti Steinmann got his third goal of the season, while his side’s second ISL Clean sheet protected the three points for them.
Bengaluru FC face NorthEast United next on Tuesday, while SC East Bengal handle Kerala Blasters on Friday.
Stats courtesy Sofascore.com