The League Shield Winners concluded the league stage with two back-to-back defeats, including one against Bengaluru FC, and will look to end the visitors’ nine-game winning streak to carry an advantage to the second leg on Sunday.
Cleiton Silva scored a late winner as East Bengal FC beat Mumbai City FC 4-3 in a Group B clash in the Durand Cup 2022 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan, here on Saturday.
The first half saw six goals as East Bengal FC scored through Sumeet Passi (17′, 34′) and Silva (22′) but Mumbai City FC came back from behind to make it 3-3 through goals from Greg Stewart (27′) and Lalianzuala Chhangte (36′, 43′).
However, Mumbai City still finished top of Group A courtesy of their superior goal difference. Mumbai City and ATK Mohun Bagan became the two teams to qualify for the quarter-finals from Group B.
Mumbai City FC created the first opening of the match when Mandar Rao Dessai sent a low cross that was poked goalwards by Jorge Pereyra Diaz but the shot went just wide in the 9th minute.
East Bengal FC then went in front through a header from Passi, who converted a deep cross from Jerry Lalrinzuala in the 17th minute. Five minutes later, Silva curled home a stunning free-kick to make it 2-0 to the Red and Gold brigade.
Stewart then halved the deficit five minutes later with a fine left-footed finish but East Bengal FC restored their two-goal lead when Passi’s cross went through goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz.
However, Mumbai City stormed back through two goals from Chhangte to make it 3-3 going into the break.
Both managers managed to stem the flow of goals in the second half as both defences upped their game. East Bengal FC managed to make the decisive blow when Silva finished off a superb counter-attacking move to put Stephen Constantine’s team 4-3 up with nine minutes to play.
Kamaljit Singh then made a sine save to deny Stewart from making it 4-4 as East Bengal FC held on to win their first match of the Durand Cup.
(Inputs from IANS)