East Bengal like other matches scored in the last minute of the second half’s extra time. Scott Neville’s header helped SC East Bengal manage a point against Kerala Blasters at the Tilak Maidan, on Friday.
Kerala Blaster’s Jordon Murray in the 64th minute scored a goal and put the team ahead.
The first half was a head-to-head clash, with both sides creating plenty of chances to score but both the team’s strikers lacked and failed to turn the opportunity. Although both the team’s strikers poured a lot of shots and tested both the goalkeepers.
The first big chance was created by Kerala Blasters, a fired shot by Murray, which tested Debjit’s skills but he passed the test as he parried away the shot. Also, Albino Gomes on the other side pulled off a fine save from SC East Bengal’s Harmanpreet Singh from a very close range.
SC East Bengal albeit started with a better second half with more control. But it was Kerala’s deadlock moments later after a lapse in concentration from the SCEB defense. Murray latched up on to a long ball from Albino Gomes, beating his marker before slotting past Majumder.
Finally, in the dying minutes of the match, SCEB created a golden opportunity from a set-piece that could’ve drawn them level. Ajay Chettri, who delivered a wonderful cross from a free-kick which substitute Aaron Holloway failed to convert into a goal.
But SCEB’s continuous attacks finally paid off in the injury time as they levelled from a corner by Enobakhare’s cross, which found an unmarked Neville, who buried his header into the net and ensured SCEB went home with a point.
However, Kerala Blasters FC with some poor defending towards the end has given away two points as Scott Neville also opened his account for SC East Bengal in second-half stoppage time to save his team from drowning.
Robbie Fowler after the match said, “To get an equalizer that late in the game was a nice feeling. But we weren’t up to the mark. The goal we conceded was a silly one. Don’t know if it was offside. However, it’s great to be on an unbeaten run, and we need more wins now. Harmanpreet Singh played well. He was unlucky not to get a goal. I think even Aaron (Amadi-Holloway) had a great chance to equalize in the end. But he hit it wide. I’m glad that we got a point tonight. We want to play free-flowing football with quick touches. We have a lot of catching up to do if we still want to make it to the playoffs. We need to minimize our errors and play extra aggressive.”
Kibu Vicuna’s statement post match, “It was similar to the other game against SC East Bengal this season. We conceded late back then as well. The set-piece given away at the end was poor. We should reacted better while defending it. They (SCEB) didn’t have many chances. Unfortunately, we lost two points. We are trying to improve results. We’ve mostly played from behind this tournament. So, we tried to create more chances than the opponent this time around and we succeeded. We started the game with long balls and the team was much more confortable. All of the players tried to be positive and dominate possession. It’s sad that we couldn’t win.”