East Bengal players celebrate after scoring a goal against Bengaluru.©ISL
East Bengal FC completed the double against Bengaluru FC with Cleiton Silva again thwarting his previous club’s chances with a winner in the 90th minute. The two teams played out a 2-1 thriller in the last game of the 2022 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday. East Bengal FC took the lead in the 39th minute thanks to a penalty from Silva. The goal came against the run of play thanks to good work from Suhair VP on the right flank.
Suhair’s mazy run forced Naorem Mahesh Singh into a mistimed slide, and the ball rolled onto his arms. The referee pointed to the spot. Silva took a stuttering run-up but calmly scored his spot kick to take East Bengal FC 1-0 to his former club for the second time this season.
Bengaluru FC looked menacing from the first half set pieces, with Sunil Chhetri, Parag Shrivas and Pablo Perez heading chances. Roy Krishna was also a threat in open play but couldn’t find the finishing touch as the first half ended with East Bengal FC taking a 1-0 lead.
But Bengaluru FC’s perseverance paid off in the 55th minute. Again Roy Krishna was caught in the middle of the matter. He put in a run on the right flank before hitting back to Javi Herandez, who hit the ball into the net.
Alex Lima and Noarem Mahesh Singh looked like they could open things up when they got the ball in the first half, but were unable to influence play as much in the second half. But both sides had chances to take the lead. Chhetri was through on goal in the 73rd minute but couldn’t get his feet out, while Silva got his feet in order in the 83rd minute but his shot went wide.
Both sides went for a winner. Bengaluru FC substitute Siva Narayan came very close in the 90th minute, but Suvan Sen was there to reject him. He came to regret it when Silva scored an excellent free-kick three minutes into stoppage time to give East Bengal FC all three points and move above them into 8th place.
East Bengal FC kicks off the new year with a visit to Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar against Odisha FC on January 7. Bengaluru FC has now dropped to 9th place and will visit the Indira Gandhi National Stadium in Guwahati in January to play against NorthEast FC. 6.
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