EB hand Bengaluru their first home loss

EB hand Bengaluru their first home loss

Seasoned campaigners East Bengal handed leaders Bengaluru FC their first home defeat with a well-orchestrated assault in an I-League match here on Sunday.

African imports James Saeed Moga and Edeh Chidi cashed in on two defensive howlers to script a 2-0 victory as the absence of central defender John Johnson and first choice goalkeeper Pawan Kumar had a telling effect on the final verdict.

With BFC having won five and drawn two from their seven games here, the task seemed cut out for East Bengal whose own form has been fluctuating since the start of the season. And with the hosts hot on trail with four successive league wins, the visitors knew they had to dish out something special if they wanted breach the Bangalore Football Stadium fortress.

Having defeated them in Kolkata -- albeit on a slushy pitch -- Armando Colaco’s men knew the tricks to pin down the Blues who give very little away with their industrious play. They started well, hardly allowing BFC any time and space to operate, haggling them down with good tackles and employing long passes which posed plenty of problems for makeshift central defender Curtis Osano and his lieutenants.

The strategy paid dividends in the 17th minute as East Bengal stroked ahead with a classic length of the field goal. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu cleared the ball from his box into BFC’s half and with striker Moga surging forward between two defenders, BFC’s new loan-signing custodian Soram Poirei Anganba chose to leave his place in an effort to thwart the South Sudanese.

The decision from the youngster came a cropper as Moga easily dribbled past him before guiding the ball to break the hearts of around 8,000 fans at the stadium.
With the goal in their kitty, Bengal stuck to their game plan and could have easily broken into half-time 3-0 had it not been for some ill luck. Slack defending from BFC was the culprit but thankfully it went unpunished as they managed to keep themselves alive in the contest.

The interval seemed to rejuvenate BFC as they came out all guns blazing, threatening East Bengal with attack after attack. East Bengal’s choice to defend deep also helped their cause as they began to impose themselves. However, all that spunk resulted in nothing, some due to poor luck and some because of poor finishing.

Darren Caldeira hit wide, Siam Hangal slammed into the post and Sean Rooney’s scorching long-ranger was saved brilliantly by Gurpreet as frustration began to grow among BFC players and their fans who indulged in some bottle throwing.

While that situation was doused in an instant with BFC players requesting their fans for sanity, tempers soon started to flare on the pitch as East Bengal indulged in time-wasting to disrupt BFC’s rhythm. All that frustration appeared to play a part in the visitors’ second goal.

Given room on the left inside the box, Chidi fired from an acute angle which ’keeper Anganba completely failed to anticipate. The ball appeared to brush his fingers into the net as confusion prevailed on whether it was a clear goal. Referee AE Simoes had no hesitation in awarding it, completely sealing BFC’s fate.

The only consolation for The Blues was that they remained on top of the table with 27 points from 14 games while East Bengal rose to seventh with 18 points, having played three games less.

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