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In the final match of day 9 of the Indian Super League, the two worst-placed clubs faced each other. 10th-placed SC East Bengal, who had drawn their last two games but missed an injury time victory in one of them, faced Odisha FC, who had also come out with a point from their last clash.
The only two sides of the winless season were ready for battle, so this was certainly going to be a very interesting match:
East Bengal started brilliantly and even took the lead in the 12th minute when a long shot from Raju Gaikwad eluded everyone in the area and hit Anthony Pilkington, who headed home from very close.
– urSurjya Kundu🚩 (@KunduSurjya) January 3, 2021
Odisha came close to equalizing four minutes later, when Manuel Onwu headed a Hendry Antonay cross into the bottom corner, but Debjit Majumdar rejected it. Another four minutes later, Diego Maurício headed a Steven Taylor header at the edge of the six-yard box, but Majumdar was up to the task once again when he pushed him away from the top corner.
Maurício had another good chance to score in the 22nd minute when he profited from a Milan Singh error and had time to take his place from the edge of the area, but missed just off the far post.
East Bengal came agonizingly close to doubling their lead in the 29th minute when Anthony Pilkington cut inside from the left and let fly, but his shot deflected and bounced off the far post.
However, 10 minutes later, there was no obstruction from the woodwork as Jacques Maghoma stormed from the left, decided to drift towards the baseline and smashed the ball into the near top corner with a little help from the post.
That’s a screamer.
– Soumik (@ soumik0108) January 3, 2021
Just two minutes after the second half, Jerry Mawihmingthanga came up the left wing and passed the ball to Diego Maurício, whose deflected shot was deflected from the bottom corner. Odisha FC’s next big chance came in the 57th minute, when Jerry shot a low cross from the left and was attacked by Manuel Onwu, whose shot went off the post.
The Kalinga Warriors continued to threaten just after the hour, when Jacob Tratt headed a free throw to the ground and into goal, but he also hit the crossbar and came out again.
Odisha came close to scoring once more in the 77th minute when Diego Maurício cut inside from the left and looked to take the near corner, but his shot was blocked to the corner. Nine minutes later, Maurício went ahead on the right and passed the ball to the goal of Daniel Lalhlimpuia, who stretched and could not control his effort.
However, it was East Bengal who scored the next goal, as Bright Enobakhare made it 3-0. First, Wahengbam Angousana headed the ball into the box for the new signing who slammed the ball into goal, but was stopped by Arshdeep Singh. However, the ball only fell into the hands of Surchandra Singh, who returned it to Enobakhare in the center of the area. This time, the ex-Lobos chose to place it in the bottom corner and succeeded.
Fun fact: another KOLKATA team has never scored 3 goals in a match 😉
– Ankush Pandit (@ AnkushPandit7) January 3, 2021
Three minutes later, Angousana released from the edge of the area, but missed wide.
In injury time, Odisha FC finally got a goal when Diego Maurício brought it home after the ball went in from the right, but it didn’t really matter as his team lost 3-1.
SC BENGALA EAST
Key talking point
A much needed victory
It’s been a long time coming, but finally, SC East Bengal has won an ISL match.
After some disappointing performances in early matches and that late heartbreak against Kerala Blasters, everyone felt it was only a matter of time before East Bengal managed to hold a lead for the full 90 minutes. They finally did it tonight, and while their performance was not entirely outstanding, it doesn’t matter as long as the points are in the bag.
The Red and Gold Brigade started the match well and deservedly took the lead through Anthony Pilkington in the 11th minute. Debjit Majumdar had a bit of work to do to preserve that lead and Odisha wasn’t helped either, but East Bengal certainly did well to go. and get a second thereafter. However, their set pieces defense was not good, and in the second period, they used their luck a lot, but for once, they had something of it. Later, new signing Bright Enobakhare also scored a goal to cap off a great display.
A ‘brilliant’ start to 2021: the first in history #ISL win! ❤💛
– Argha Ghosh (@iamargha) January 3, 2021
This is undoubtedly one of the biggest victories East Bengal has had in a long time, but can they take advantage of it?
Debjit Majumder (7.5), Raju Gaikwad (7), Scott Neville (6), Danny Fox (6.5), Bikash Jairu (6), Milan Singh (4.5), Mohammed Rafique (5.5), Haobam Singh (5), Matti Steinmann (6.5), Jacques maghoma (8 *), Anthony Pilkington (8)
Subs: Surchandra Singh (6), Harmanpreet Singh (5), Bright Enobakhare (7.5), Wahengbam Angousana (6)
Jacques Maghoma’s two count was matched by Matti Steinmann last time out, so he went and scored again to claim his spot as the all-time top scorer for East Bengal this season.
The Congolese international did it with a great blow, as he covered a lot of ground on the left after beating a pair of defenders and shot into the upper corner with great power and precision. He was in high spirits throughout the game as he proved to be a great outlet for his team on the left flank.
Maghoma gains confidence with games pic.twitter.com/UgysyyVVTV
– Mallu⚽Fanatic (@mallufutballfan) January 3, 2021
The 33-year-old completed 6/6 dribbles, landed 36 touches, maintained 89% passing accuracy, made a couple of key passes and won 4 free throws.
A magnificent performance to seal a crucial victory for his team.
Key talking point
A great missed opportunity
Odisha FC were winless after playing seven games this season, and they weren’t going to have a better chance of ending that record when they faced fellow wrestlers SC East Bengal.
Stuart Baxter opted for an unchanged lineup after that encouraging draw against NorthEast United, so Marcelinho did not start again. Creativity was not their problem, however, it was their finish that hurt them. However, the first damage they suffered was at the end, when they let a long shot break through their defenses.
The Kalinga Warriors dominated the second half, but the joinery denied them multiple times and their finishing was a bit poor at times as well. However, it certainly must have been encouraging to see them master the proceedings for once, but Arshdeep Singh fell in again in the 88th minute. They got some belated comfort, but it doesn’t count for anything.
This was perhaps the last chance of the season that Odisha could afford to miss, so surely his playoff hopes have been forever dashed.
Arshdeep Singh (5), Shubham Sarangi (4.5), Steven Taylor (5), Jacob Tratt (5.5), Hendry Antonay (6), Vinit Rai (6.5), Gaurav Bora (6), Cole Alexander (6.5), Jerry Mawihmingthanga (6.5), Manuel Onwu (6.5), Diego Maurício (7.5 *)
Subs: Daniel Lalhlimpuia (N / A)
What does this mean:
SC East Bengal remains 10th, but only on goal difference thanks to the third goal of the season from Jacques Maghoma and respective account openers Anthony Pilkington and Bright Enobakhare, while Odisha remains rooted in the background. Diego Maurício’s late goal was the ISL’s 100th goal this season.
What does this mean:
SC East Bengal will face FC Goa next Wednesday, while Odisha FC will face Kerala Blasters a day later.
Statistics courtesy Sofascore.com