I-League: Shillong Lajong held East Bengal to a draw at Siliguri

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Willis Plaza scored the equalizer for East Bengal against Shillong Lajong on Wednesday. Image Source: XtraTime

Internet Desk: The hype of securing full three points from the game was getting high but Kingfisher East Bengal salvaged another draw against Shillong Lajong at the Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri today. It was the highlanders who took an early lead to the game but Willis Plaza’s brilliant header ensured a point for Trevor’s team from this game.

Kingfisher East Bengal started the first half very much lively. The wound of losing a point in the Kolkata derby was perhaps playing at the back of their mind. Expectedly, coach Trevor Morgan fielded all four foreigners in the first XI to put some serious pressure right from the start. But newly signed Australian Chris Payne failed to live up to the expectations in his first outing. But Thangboi Singto’s Shillong Lajong too put up a lot of resilience to make the work harder for the Red and Gold brigade.

East Bengal got the first chance of the game in the 5th minute when Wedson’s powerful first time volley went inches over the cross bar.

In the 7th minute of the game, in form Caribbean forward dribbled past 5 players on his own with some magical skills but couldn’t place the ball on target. In the 13th minute, Wedson again seemed menacing but his fine right footer was beautifully gathered by Vishal Kaith.

Against the run of play, it was Samuel Lalrinmuana who gave the lead to Shillong Lajong with a delightful header after Bipin Singh delivered an inch perfect cross from the left.

After conceding the goal, East Bengal started to look very much scratchy and the body language of the players too reflected that on their approach.

In the 45th minute of the game, East Bengal found their equalizing goal when Narayan Das delivered a looping ball in from the left Willis Plaza scored his 6th goal of the competition with a precision header.

The second half was much better from East Bengal as they started using their flanks to a good effect.

In the 47th minute, Australian forward Chris Payne found his first shot on target but the Shillong Lajong goalkeeper saved it brilliantly.

Trevor Morgan brought in three quick substitutions in the form of Robin Singh,  Arnab Mondal and Romeo Fernandes. In the 53rd minute, Samuel Shadap took another superb shot which needed a fine save by TP Rehenesh.

In the 54th minute, Plaza’s deflected attempt needed an acrobatic save to prevent the ball from going in. in the 62nd minute Samuel Lalrinmuana fired a decent shot, but the East Bengal goalkeeper made another excellent save.

In the last half an hour, East Bengal tried their hardest to snatch the winning goal but poor finishing and tentative approach in the attacking third costed them another halt after the Kolkata derby.

Hero of The Match: Vishal Kaith

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