In order to give the Blasters all three points, Mohammed Aimen scored twice (in the 28th and 90th minutes) while Muhammed Ajsal scored once (in the 55th minute).
NorthEast United FC would be thanking their stars after beating a much-improved SC East Bengal side 2-0 at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Saturday in the ongoing edition of Indian Super League (ISL).
It was NorthEast’s second win in four matches, while the Kolkata giants registered their third defeat in as many matches. The Gauhati-based team are standing second with eight points.
Despite dominating the game throughout, East Bengal were victims of an own goal and several poor decisions from the match referee.
A late goal from Rochharzela added salt to the injury as Robbie Fowler’s men continued the search for their first goal and first win of ISL 2020-21.
East Bengal coach Fowler cut an exasperated figure at the end of the match as his team were denied a few clear-cut chances to win a penalty. The first chance came in the 20th minute when forward Jacques Maghoma went down to Ashutosh Mehta and the replays showed that the NorthEast player had clearly made contact.
NorthEast scored just over 10 minutes later. Idrissa Sylla sent the ball to Kwesi Appiah on the right wing after Ninthoinganba Meetei retrieved possession inside the NorthEast half. Appiah put the cross in and it ricocheted off Surchendra and rolled into the goal, past the wrongfooted Debjit Majumder.
East Bengal had a flurry of chances for the rest of the half, including consecutive corners just before the referee blew the whistle, but could not find the back of the net.
It was more frustration for Fowler’s men in the second half. Forward Anthony Pilkington’s shot in the 61st minute hit the arm of a NorthEast defender but the referee did not point to the spot for that. NorthEast themselves had a penalty decision going against them 12 minutes later when Meetei went down in the box after a brilliant solo run with East Bengal defender Sehnaj Singh all over him.
East Bengal committed more numbers forward which meant that they were susceptible to a counter attack and it was such a situation that led to them conceding in the 91st minute. VP Suhair, who had come on for Sylla in the 79th minute, charged forward as soon as the ball came to him and put in an inch-perfect low cross for Rochharzela to burry in the back of the net with ease.
While East Bengal remain rooted to the bottom of the table with no points, NorthEast replaced Mumbai City, who have an extra game in hand, in second place with eight points in four matches.
With IANS inputs