East Bengal was held to a goalless draw by the visiting Jamshedpur FC as both teams played their ISL 2023-24 season opener at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Monday.
Home favourite East Bengal created numerous scoring chances, but its attackers failed to produce the desired finishing to allow the visitor to wrest a point from the unproductive exchange.
East Bengal dominated the action and opened up the opposition’s defence plenty of times but faltered in the box to see the attacks ending in futility.
East Bengal took time to settle down, as the first 30 minutes did not bring up much action in the attacking third. But the final 10 minutes of the opening half saw the host in menacing form as it mobilised the flanks with both Naorem Mahesh and Nandhakumar Sekar supplying crosses inside the Jamshedpur box for the lone attacker in Javier Siverio. The Spanish forward struggled to find the right touch that could produce the desired result for East Bengal.
AS IT HAPPENED: East Bengal vs Jamshedpur FC highlights
Jamshedpur opted to wait and find the openings through counterattacks.
The best chance for East Bengal came in the 38th minute when Borja Hererra put in an accurate cross from the left for Siverio, who ended up punching the ball over an open goal.
Jamshedpur goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh came in the way next making a double save in the 42nd minute. He first blocked an attempt from Borja and then followed up with another save with his foot to deny Naorem Mahesh’s effort.
The change of end extended East Bengal’s struggle as Siverio and later the Brazilian forward Cleiton Silva, who came in as a substitute around the hour mark, continued to miss chances for the remainder of the action.
With Jamshedpur appearing to be content with a point, the barren result in the end seemed to be the just outcome.
The injury time of the second half produced an interesting episode as referee I. Jamal Mohamed recalled Jamshedpur’s substitute midfielder Emil Benny after giving him marching orders with a red card.
The player was punished for violent conduct for pushing down the East Bengal’s Spanish midfielder Saul Crespo but the referee annulled his initial decision and showed Benny, who was already walking back to the tunnel, a yellow card to get him back on the field.
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