Kolkata: Kingfisher East Bengal’s title hopes gets a blow against Churchill Brothers at the Barasat Stadium today as the league toppers surrender themselves to a 1-2 defeat against Derreck Perrera’s team in front of a packed stadium. Trevor Morgan’s team was flying high after two consecutive vital away victories but stumbled against the shrewd tactics of the Goan coach.
Kingfisher East Bengal had an early stumble in the opening minutes of the game as Derreck Perrera’s Churchill Brothers took the lead through Anthony Wolfe in the 7th minute of the game after Anwar made an elementary mistake in the defence to allow the Caribbean to place the ball at the open net to make it 1-0.
East Bengal got their first chance of the game in the 8th minute when Australian Chris Payne attempted a long ranger, but went straight to the throat of the Churchill goalkeeper. The moment East Bengal were trying to come back in the game, Churchill’s Liberian forward Kromah scored the second goal in the 34th minute by taking full advantage of some basic mistakes by the East Bengal defenders.
East Bengal created a good move in the 40th minute when Robert delivered a great ball from the left and Rowlin Borges failed to keep his header on target.
East Bengal finished the first half strongly though as they created three fine moves in the span of the last two minutes of the added time. In the 45th minute, substitute Willis Plaza took a ball remarkably well and placed his shot towards a goal from a close range, but the goalkeeper made a great save. Seconds after that move, Nikhil Poojary made a fine run but his shot was not that dangerous to score a goal. Immediately after that, Payne delivered a great ball for Robin Singh which he failed to capitalize.
East Bengal reduced the margin after some incessant pressure in the 67th minute, when Robin Singh played a great ball to Chris Payne and the Aussie forward made no mistake to score his third goal of the competition.
The Churchill Brothers defence played stupendously well in the remaining minutes of the game and hardly allowed the East Bengal forwards to score a goal.
East Bengal’s defeat has certainly scripted another drama in the I-League and allows Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan to come back strongly into the title race.