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Matchday 10 of the Indian Super League continued to provide exciting action as 10th-placed SC East Bengal took on third-placed FC Goa. The home team had finally managed to bring in their first ISL victory last time out, while the Gaurs were on a two-game winning streak and wanted to cement their place in the playoff spots.
A major crash was scheduled to take place in Goa, and here’s what we did about it:
Debjit Majumdar sprang into action in five minutes as she had to make a dive from a header by James Donachie following a Brandon Fernandes free kick.
East Bengal’s first chance of the game came in the 28th minute, when Aaron Amadi-Holloway found a Narayan Das free kick near the six-yard box but his header went wide. A minute later, Raju Gaikwad took a long shot to the back post, where Danny Fox was not marked, but somehow missed the target.
FC Goa came close to opening the scoring 11 minutes later, as Savior Gama was allowed to shoot from range, but his effort in the bottom corner was well saved by Debjit Majumdar.
– Sagar Patil (@ sagar_patil_18) January 6, 2021
The left-back came close to scoring against just before the break when his deflected effort was creeping in again, but the keeper made another key save. In first-half injury time, Aaron Amadi-Holloway had another free header after a free kick, but this time he sent it high.
Things took a big turn in the 56th minute when Danny Fox was sent off for a reckless challenge on Alexander Romario. Despite that, the Red and Gold Brigade had a great opportunity in the 60th minute when Matti Steinmann dribbled forward from inside his own half and opened a shot angle on the edge of the area, but missed wide.
There was another big twist in the story in the 79th minute when Bright Enobakhare dribbled to the middle of the Goa side, zigzagged past a pair of defenders in the box, and edged past the goalkeeper to score an all-out sizzle.
Brilliant Enobakhare. Wow.
That should be the goal of the season so far. #SCEBFCG
– Nicolai Nayak (@NicolaiNayak) January 6, 2021
However, FC Goa needed just over a minute to respond as substitute Devendra Murgaonkar headed a Savior Gama cross that edged Debjit Majumdar at the far post.
However, SC East Bengal managed to hold on, earning a deserved point from a 1-1 draw.
SC BENGALA EAST
Key talking point
After finally managing to win their first ISL match in nine attempts, East Bengal knew avoiding defeat tonight was a difficult task.
With Anthony Pilkington out due to a minor injury and Jacques Maghoma only entering the bench for similar reasons, Robbie Fowler made five changes to his starting lineup. There was also a tactical change, as his team lined up a back-five. Out of possession, they were 5-3-2 / 5-2-3 depending on Bright Enobakhare’s decision to press. They were happy to give up possession to threaten their opponents on the counterattack.
However, most of his great opportunities come from set pieces. A corner kick and a long shot from Raju Gaikwad gave Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Danny Fox two great chances respectively, but both missed completely. These opportunities would come back to haunt them in the second half, as a red card for Danny Fox meant they were in the rear for more than a third of the game. At the other extreme, Debjit Majumdar had to make a few key saves, but there was nothing to significantly threaten her goal.
Things took a big turn at the end, when Bright Enobakhare scored a wonderful goal before Goa quickly tied. They did a great job of holding on to a draw thereafter, coming out with a deserved point.
Debjit Majumder (7.5), Ankit Mukherjee (6), Scott Neville (6), Raju Gaikwad (6.5), Danny Fox (3), Narayan Das (6.5), Milan Singh (5), Matti Steinmann (6.5), Glossy enobakhare (8 *), Aaron Amadi-Holloway (5.5), Harmanpreet Singh (5)
Subs: Jacques Maghoma (5.5), Surchandra Singh (5), Mohammed Rafique (N / A)
Bright Enobakhare might have scored the game-saving goal for his team, but his team might have been three down before that if it weren’t for Debjit Majumdar.
The former ATK stopper made a number of crucial saves, especially in the first half to keep the scores level going. He had to keep James Donachie’s header off after a free kick early on. Thereafter, he had to make a couple of routine stops and a few more notable thanks to the long-range efforts of Savior Gama in a brilliant display in the first half. He didn’t work half as hard in the second period, but he also looked solid, except for the goal he conceded.
Debjit Majumder + a few inches taller = One of the best GK in India. Acts.
– Anurag (@anurag_rik) January 6, 2021
The 32-year-old goalkeeper made 8 crucial saves, including three from shots inside the box, and made a couple of shots and big claims to help his team reach a crucial point.
Key talking point
FC Goa knew that a win here would effectively seal them a place in the top four until Matchday 11, the end of the first half of the season.
Two wins in their last two games meant they had momentum on their side, and the fact that Juan Ferrando made only one change to his lineup kept him going. As expected, they had a clear possession majority in the first half with 68% of the ball, but couldn’t really pose a goal threat save for a couple of long-range efforts from Savior Gama. The truth is that they were lucky to reach the half-time break without conceding a goal, as East Bengal had several set pieces.
Goa got a big lead just over 10 minutes into the second half when Danny Fox was red for a rather reckless challenge. However, if anything, they created even fewer opportunities thereafter and seemed even more indifferent in the attack. So they deservedly conceded in the 79th minute, then suddenly woke up and tied in just over a minute.
FC Goa did not really threaten the goal thereafter, so there was no late comeback tonight.
Mohammad Nawaz (5), Seriton Fernandes (6.5), James Donachie (6.5), Iván González (6), Savior Gama (7.5 *), Princeton Rebello (6), Edu Bedia (6.5), Alexander Romario (6), Jorge Ortiz (6.5), Brandon Fernandes (6), Igor Angulo (5.5)
Subs: Devendra Murgaonkar (7), Aibanbha Dohling (5), Alberto Noguera (5.5), Ishan Pandita (N / A)
What does this mean:
FC Goa remains in 3rd place but is now two points clear, while East Bengal advance one place to 9th. Danny Fox saw his ninth red card of the season, while Bright Enobakhare scored his second goal of the season. Devendra Murgaonkar opened her ISL account tonight, but Igor Angulo missed a chance to match Coro’s record of 10 goals in his first 10 FC Goa games.
SC East Bengal will face Bengaluru FC next Saturday, while FC Goa’s next match will be on the 14th against Jamshedpur FC.
Statistics courtesy Sofascore.com