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Posted on 15/02/17 by Kingfisher East Bengal
Photo: AIFF Media
Kingfisher East Bengal played an 1-1 draw with Shillong Lajong FC in the Hero I League match played today at the Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri.
Shillong Lajong FC got an early lead in the 20th minute when Samuel Lalmuanpuia struck for the Meghalaya outfit. The red & golds restored parity at the stroke of half time when Willis Plaza headed in a Narayan Das cross.
In the second half, Kingfisher East Bengal had a flurry of chances but visiting keeper Vishal Kaith’s heroics under the bar ensured they take a point from the tie.
The result saw the Kolkata-outfit stay top of the table with 21 points from nine matches while Lajong moved to fourth with 13 points in their kitty playing the same number of matches.
The opening exchanges saw Plaza and Wedson Anselme combining well but debutant Christopher Payne was not in his elements to convert the chances.
Wedson came close to scoring but Kaith saved well diving low to his right.
Lajong took the lead much against the tide. Dipanda Dicka passed wide to Bipin Singh inside the box on the left with the latter floating the ball for Lalmuanpuia who headed home.
Had Dipanda’s diving header was not parried away by East Bengal custodian T.P. Rehenesh, it could be two goals to the good for the away side.
At the stroke of halftime, Plaza scored his sixth goal of the season. The former Trinidad & Tobago international nodded in Narayan Das’ cross with relative ease as Lajong backline was caught napping.
East Bengal went full throttle after the break in search of a goal.
Arnab Mondal made his season’s debut after the break, replacing Gurwinder Singh at centre back. Mondal had been nursing an injury he picked up a few months ago.
In the 49th minute, Payne got his first crack at goal but the Australian’s shot was meek with Kaith had no difficulty to save it.
Morgan replaced U-22 player Nikhil Poojary with Romeo Fernandes in the 71st minute in the hope of a goal. The signs were right as the game-time deprived former Dempo SC winger won a corner with his initial touches but nothing came of it.
Kaith pulled off a string of saves to deny the red and golds the winning goal in the final minutes as Lajong coach Thangboi Singto looked to settle for a point, bringing in defender Dan Ignat in place of the scorer Lalmuanpuia.
KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL: Rehenesh TP, Rahul Bheke, Gurwinder Singh (Arnab Mondal-46'), Ivan Bukenya, Narayan Das, Wedson Anselme, Mehtab Hossain, Lalrindika Ralte(C), Nikhil Poojary (Romeo Fernandes-71'), Christopher Payne Baden (Robin Singh-58'), Willis Deon Plaza