It took SC East Bengal 347 days to complete their unbeaten run in the Hero Indian Super League as the Red and Gold Brigade thrashed FC Goa’s semi-final hopes 2-1 at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim today. The first win of the season helped SCEB bounce back from the bottom while the Gours remained stuck in ninth place in the table.
Mahesh Naurem Singh (9 ‘) scored early for SCEB against the run of the game until Alberto Noguera (37’) equalized the score. Naurem Singh (42 ‘) completed his brace after being gifted by the opposition defender which remained the difference between the teams.
Despite dominating the possession, FC Goa suffered a setback in the opening stages when an unforced error by Edu Bedia caught Anwar Ali off-guard. Mahesh Naurem Singh took advantage of the situation to pound the ball and put the goalkeeper behind the one-on-one situation to score the opener. Half an hour before the goal, Gaur’s captain fed Alexander Jesuraj by penetrating the ball but he wasted the chance to equalize by broadcasting a shot from above the crossbar.
Darren Sidoel took a shot from a distance after the drinks break but his attempt went off target. After Jorge Ortiz gave a defense-splitting pass to Alberto Noguera, FCG finally scored the equalizer which found a place inside the box and beat Arindam Bhattacharjee with a narrow angle with his left foot. Three minutes before halftime, Naurem Singh gave SCEB the lead again after Anwar Ali gifted him the ball inside his own box. Although the striker’s attempt hit the bar and came out, the assistant referee scored as the ball crossed the goal line.
FCG was intensely searching for a second equalizer in the second half. However, there weren’t many clear chances for Gours to score. A number of Red and Gold Brigades were defending, denying any space to the opposition attackers. The fourth officer added an extra seven minutes after the regulation period. The Mario Riviera men maintained their lead with a collective effort to record the first elusive win of the season.
FC Goa will take on Bengaluru FC in their next match at the Athletic Stadium on Sunday while SC East Bengal will face a tough Hyderabad FC challenge at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Monday.