SC East Bengal 2-2 Chennaiyin FC: Report, ratings and reaction when action packed clash sees East Bengal earn another point

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After a couple of days of festivities, the Indian Super League returned with an intriguing Boxing Day battle. The last club, SC East Bengal, faced eighth-ranked Chennaiyin FC, and both teams have had a below-average season so far. A victory was necessary for either party, but surely at least one would be disappointed.

An energetic showdown ensued, and this is what we did with it:


East Bengal looked quite competitive in the opening stages, but it was Chennaiyin FC that drew the first blood in the 13th minute when Jakub Sylvestr played Lallianzuala Chhangte behind the defense around the midline. The speedy winger only had Debjit Majumdar to beat, and he did so successfully by getting under the goalkeeper just as he dived to prevent him from scoring.

There was a great opportunity for an equalizer in the 37th minute when Matti Steinmann passed the ball over the Chennaiyin FC defense to Mohammed Rafique, who dodged the speedy Vishal Kaith but failed to shoot an open goal at his mercy. Deepak Tangri made one last challenge.

East Bengal finally got the equalizer in the 59th minute, when Matti Steinmann took a corner with his head, and hit the far post before hitting the back of the net.

However, in less than five minutes, Jakub Sylvestr played Rahim Ali on the right. The young man crossed Bikash Jairu before calmly returning home.

Shortly after, Sylvestr brilliantly controlled the ball on the edge of the box and let it fly from the edge of the box, but Debjit Majumdar was up to his effort when he tipped it wide. Enes Sipović headed the resulting corner, but his effort only hit the crossbar.

There was even more drama in the 68th minute as Vishal Kaith failed to catch Danny Fox’s looping header after a corner, and Matti Steinmann picked up the wreckage to equalize once more.

Two minutes later, the ball broke for Jacques Maghoma on the left side of the area. The winger created a bit of space and let fly, but only managed to hit the side net.

In the 77th minute, a skillful counterattack by Chennaiyin FC sent Lallianzuala Chhangte away for Jakub Sylvestr, whose shot was well saved by Vishal Kaith. Two minutes later Milan Singh presented Sylvestr with a brilliant opportunity with a terribly weighted pass, but the forward missed the mark.

The Slovak striker continued to miss great chances in the 89th minute, when he somehow looked at Rahim Ali’s cross off the far post. At the other end, Scott Neville had a free header from four yards from a corner, but put it high.

Neither team could find a late winner, so the match ended in a thoroughly entertaining 2-2 draw.


Key talking point

Another very close point

This has been said many times in recent weeks, but surely, it was a must win for SC East Bengal.

The Red and Gold Brigade seemed to be the better team in the opening stages of the first half, but characteristically conceded after a strong start to undo all their good work. Certainly things could have been worse soon after, but East Bengal lost a couple of glorious opportunities to equalize before the break. However, Chennaiyin didn’t take hers either, so the second half was certainly an open affair.

With goals being the top priority for Robbie Fowler’s men, the British manager made some changes to his system at half-time. It must have been a huge relief to see Matti Steinmann of all people contribute a double, but the defense didn’t hold up well again, meaning East Bengal never had an advantage.

More importantly, however, they were not left behind again either, meaning East Bengal achieved their third point of the season tonight.

Player Ratings

Debjit Majumder (6), Surchandra Singh (4.5), Scott Neville (6.5), Danny Fox (6), Bikash Jairu (4), Sehnaj Singh (5), Mohammed Rafique (5.5), Haobam Singh (5), Matti steinmann (9 *), Jacques Maghoma (6.5), Anthony Pilkington (6.5)

Subs: Jeje Lalpekhlua (5.5), Rohen Singh (5), Milan Singh (4.5), Rana Gharami (N / A)

Matti steinmann

With just 11 career goals from 168 matches leading up to this match, Matti Steinmann is clearly not a prolific scorer.

Tonight, however, he was that and much more as he proved to be the savior of SC East Bengal. The German midfielder delivered performances from midfield in the first half with outstanding work, before activating forward instincts for a double in the second half.

The former Hamburg midfielder managed 85 touches, 84% passing accuracy, 7/9 game wins, 4 punts, 3 tackles and interceptions, a key pass and a crucial double.

What a time to open your ISL account.


Key talking point

Missed opportunities

Chennaiyin FC started this match in eighth place, but they knew that a big win would take them up to fourth place in the table, so they were on the hunt for playoff spots in the first half of the season.

Marina Machans may not have been at her best from the start, but they opened the scoring first and that’s all that really mattered. They were able to control the match after that, and with Deepak Tangri doing a very respectful job of covering up his only weakness on the right-back, Chennaiyin appeared to be unreachable for a faltering attack from East Bengal.

However, in the second half, the weakness of Csaba László’s team was exposed, as they conceded two goals from two corners in the space of nine minutes. The good news was the fact that Rahim Ali scored once in the middle, so it was all to play for when we entered the final stages of the match.

Despite a flurry of big chances, Chennaiyin FC were unable to capitalize, earning only one point in this encounter.

Player Ratings

Vishal Kaith (4), Deepak Tangri (6), Eli Sabiá (5.5), Enes Sipović (7), Jerry Lalrinzuala (5.5), Anirudh Thapa (6), Memo (6.5), Rahim Ali (7), Rafael Crivellaro ( 7), Lallianzuala Chhangte (7.5), Jakub Sylvestr (8 *)

Subs: Edwin Sydney Vanspaul (N / A), Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev (N / A), Dhanpal Ganesh (N / A)

Lallianzuala Chhangte

After that missing masterclass last week against FC Goa, Lallianzuala Chhangte finally opened her ISL 7 account.

If his finish was half as good against Goa as tonight, he would surely have scored a hat-trick at that point. Today, he only had one big chance, which he worked hard for by running 35 yards with the ball, and dispatched it calmly. He also did well on the opposite flank when he was deployed to protect Deepak Tangri at the rear, which means he had a pretty good combat overall.

The 23-year-old sprinter made his only shot on goal, landed 37 touches, completed 3 dribbles and completed a key pass.

Finally, a goal-laden performance from the thrilling forward.

What does this mean:

Chennaiyin FC moved up to seventh in the table in part thanks to Lallianzuala Chhangte’s first goal of the season, while Matti Steinmann’s double, which made him SC East Bengal’s second scorer in the ISL, knocked him out of the tail and tenth.

SC East Bengal will face Odisha FC in another crucial clash next Sunday, while Chennaiyin FC will face ATK Mohun Bagan in three days.

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