I-League, As it Happened: East Bengal holds Punjab FC to 1-1 draw after late Mera goal

Tune in for commentary and updates from the Punjab FC vs East Bengal I-League clash being played at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana.

East Bengal will be squaring off against Punjab FC in match 8 of the 2019-20 season of I-League at the Guru Nanak Stadium on Saturday.   -  Twitter (@ILeagueOfficial)

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Punjab FC vs East Bengal I-League game.

 

And it ends all square! Punjab FC drew first blood through Danilo in the 13th minute and looked to be coasting to a win, but a late equaliser saw the home side denied all three points. Juan Mera proved to be East Bengal's saviour as his 84th minute header restored parity and saw both sides share the spoils.

We will be back with out live blog tomorrow when Mohun Bagan takes on Churchill Brothers. Thanks for tuning in, see you then!

Brazil left-back Danilo Quipapa of Punjab FC is adjudged the player of the game for his early goal against East Bengal.

THE GAME IS OVER!

90+4'  Only four shots on goal entire game. Both teams have struggled to create chances today and have tried to find the back of the net with so many meaningless long rangers.

90' Four minutes to be added on! YELLOW CARD!! Samuel Shadap is booked for an extremely lazy tackle on Vanlalremdika.

86' SUBSTITUTION!!!  Yumnam Mangang makes way for Souvik Das. East suddenly dominating possession right now.

84' IT'S 1-1!!!!!! EAST BENGAL SCORES!!! JUAN MERA FINDS THE BACK OF THE NET! Brilliant finish from the Spanish midfielder. Chaotic few minutes and Punjab defence just crumbled under pressure here.

83' SUBSTITUTION!!! East Bengal's final change of the game. Abhishek Ambedkar makes way for Brandon Vanlalremdika. Last throw of the dice by Alejandro Menendez. 

78' CHANCE!! Chothe gets the ball in midfield and immediately passes it to Punjab captain Sanju Pradhan. The midfielder's cross, however, just misses an onrushing Dipanda Dicka by inches.

75' FOUL!!! Punjab has won a free-kick just outside the box. Dangerous position. Abhishek Ambe puts in a silly tackle on Dipanda Dicka. YELLOW CARD! Abhishek is booked for that challenge.

72' SUBSTITUTION!!! Second Punjab substitution of the match. Moinuddin Khan comes in for Cavin Lobo, who has committed so many fouls today.

70' YELLOW CARD!! Finally an East Bengal player goes into the referee's book. The skipper Kasim Aidara is the culprit. He had brought down Barboza.

67' Another counter-attack from Punjab FC. Cavin Lobo at the centre of action. He crosses the ball to Chothe in the box. But he's not able to collect it properly as East Bengal regains possession.

63' CLOSE!! Sanju Pradhan with a long ball into the box. Cavin Lobo almost headed it in to double Punjab's lead. But the East Bengal defence managed to clear it away.

59' SUBSTITUTION! RONALDO COMES IN!!!!!!!!! Ronaldo Oliveira replaces Pintu Mahata for East Bengal. Both teams have struggled to get shots on target the entire game.

55' FREE-KICK!! After another long delay, Santos takes the kick and the ball goes way over the goalkeeper's head. East Bengal wastes yet another chance.

51' INJURY!!! Tondomba Naorem Singh is being stretchered off. Another terrible injury in this game. P C Rohlupia replaces him. East Bengal coachAlejandro Menendez has a chat with Tondomba on the sidelines.

47' FOUL!!! FREE-KICK FOR EAST BENGAL! Dicka takes out Crespi. And the EB players are surrounding Dipanda Dicka. Tempers flare and the referee is having a tough time to get things under control.

SECOND HALF

SHOTS (SHOTS ON TARGET):

Punjab FC - 6 (1)

East Bengal - 1 (1)

CORNERS:

Punjab FC - 3

East Bengal - 2

POSSESSION STATS:

Punjab FC - 56%

East Bengal - 44%

THE FIRST 45 MINUTES ARE DONE AND DUSTED!!!

45+3' COUNTER-ATTACK!!! Sanju Pradhan to Barboza to Pradhan again who finds Dipanda Dicka. He evades a few defenders and takes the shot but Mawia was alert enough to save the danger.

45' PENALTY CLAIMS??!! Not given by the referee. The Punjab FC players are furious. Barboza is arguing with the referee here. Three minutes to be added on!

42' Long delay in play as another Punjab FC player goes down. In spite of the number of fouls committed today by East Bengal, it has no yellow cards to show. Meanwhile, Punjab has two.

38' YELLOW CARD!!! Dipanda Dicka is the second Punjab FC player to go into the referee's book today. Juan Mera will take the free kick.

34' Juan Mera with a beautiful ball in but Espada is not able to get to it as Limbu collects it. That's the closest EB ha come to scoring today.

31' Punjab FC has had 59% of the possession so far, while East Bengal is leading the fouls chart. The home team is getting into the penalty box every alternate minute.

29' SUBSTITUTION!!! Bali is not feeling good and he's taken off. Makan Winkle Chote replaces Gagandeep Bali for Punjab FC in Ludhiana. Coach Yan Law doesn't look happy.

27' CHANCE! EB is clearly struggling here. It lost the ball in midfield. Aidara was the culprit as Punjab moved forward on the counter. A timely last minute tackle from from Mehtab saves the day for EB.

25' FOUL!!!! Cavin Lobo takes out Tondomba with a mistimed tackle. Tondomba is writhing in pain. Poor stuff from Cavin.

23' Punjab is doing a great job here. It's waiting for East Bengal to commit mistakes and working on the counter. Espada, on the other hand, is struggling up front for EB.

21' YELLOW CARD!! First of the game. Bali receives the card for a silly tackle on Abhishek.

19' CORNER FOR EB!!! Brilliant run by Samad on the right flank but Thoiba executes a perfect tackle. Juan Mera will take the kick. CLOSE!!! Aidara had the goal at his mercy. But his header was mistimed one.

16' SAVE!! Punjab FC's Limbu makes a good save to deny East Bengal the equalizer. EB is struggling a bit here and trying to level the scores with long rangers.

13' GOAL!!!!!! Crespi had fouled Barboza. Sanju Pradhan took the resultant free kick and it went straight to Danilo whose header finds the back of the net.  Punjab takes a 1-0 lead against East Bengal!!

10' WHAT A MISS!!  Pintu Mahata with a brilliant cross into the box and Santos makes a mess of it. However, EB wins a corner. Poor corner as Punjab gets possession.

8' CORNER!  East Bengal almost conceded there. Poor play from the defence and Crespi is fuming as Barboza's shot is deflected for a corner. Pradhan will once again take the set piece. Another short pass and another clearance by EB.

6' FOUL! Punjab skipper Sanju Pradhan will take the free kick. It's a short pass and Bali launches it into the box. Crespi clears it away for East Bengal.

3' FREE-KICK! Jaime Santos takes it. But Punjab defenders clear it away. The rebound falls to Espada but it's a foul.

1' OFFSIDE!  Two in a about a minute. Punjab FC has started this game well.  But Dicka and Barboza are too eager to get forward and East Bengal's offside trap works out.

FIRST HALF

Umesh Bora is the referee for the game. The players have entered the field. The toss is done and we are moments away from the start. And the match is underway!

Punjab FC XI: Limbu (G), Danilo, Dennis, Raju, Samuel, Thoiba, Sanju (C), Cavin, Bali, Dicka, Barboza.

COACH: Yan Law

East Bengal XI: Mawia (G), Mehtab, A.M.M Crespi, Samad, Abhishek, K Aidara (C), Tondomba, Juan Mera, Mahata, J Santos, De La Espada.

COACH: Alejandro Menéndez

 

 

PREVIEW

Kolkata giant East Bengal will be squaring off against 2017-18 champion Punjab FC in the eighth match of the 2019-20 I-League season at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday.

Punjab FC has not had a great outing against Churchill Brothers FC, where it went down 3-0. The team from Ludhiana will be playing its first match at its home ground and will be under immense pressure as it will be missing captain Anwar Ali, who was sent off in the match against the Red Machines.

The defence may be an area for concern for Punjab Head Coach, Yan Law, as it was left exposed against Churchill in a match it conceded three goals. The coach will also be concerned about the finishing and creativity of the team as it goes up against an attack-minded opposition.

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Yan Law said, “We had a disappointing result against Churchill Brothers on the opening game of the season. According to stats, the game was played evenly, we actually had more chances than the opposition, but failed to convert any as the Churchill defence held us well. Our lapse in defending in the midfield and attacking third caused us problems in the defending third.”

He resonated confidence in his team, however, and added, “We have worked on all the problems, analysed everything in detail where things went wrong, and the boys are pretty confident for the next game against Quess East Bengal at home.

East Bengal, on the other hand, will be disappointed with a 1-1 draw at home in its last game against Real Kashmir considering the fact that it dominated the match with 64 per cent possession, and had many chances to score.

Its Spanish imports of the team looked sharp in midfield but lacked the killer instinct and failed to conjure-up three points in front of an 11,000-odd strong home support. East Bengal manager Alejandro Menéndez, however, maintained that last game’s result will not change his team’s approach towards the game.

“We have prepared the team in the same way as the first game. We promise good football and a good game. The idea is to approach the game in the same way and try to score as many goals as possible,” said Menéndez.