I-League 2019-20 Highlights: Churchill's Plaza hands East Bengal first loss of season

I-League 2019-20 Highlights: Willis Plaza's late goal saw Chruchill Brothers beat East Bengal 1-0 and storm to the top of the I-League table.

Hello and welcome to highlights of the  I-League 2019-20 match between Churchill Brothers and East Bengal.

 

That brings us to the end of today's clash. Thanks for tuning in!

90+3' The referee blows the full time whistle and the home side erupts in joy. Churchill Brothers ride on Willis Plaza's late goal to climb to the top of the I-League table and hand East Bengal its first defeat of the season!

90+1' We head into added time now and the home side is clutching on to its slender lead. Plaza had a host of chances through the game but chose to save his best for the last. 

90' PLAAZAAAAAAAAAA! It's 1-0 to Churchill Brothers as Willis Plaza finishes Gurgung's cross in style. Gurung crafts a peach of a cross from the left and Plaza leaps above his markers to slot his header into the bottom corner.

88' Third and final change for Churchill Brothers - Quan Gomes comes on for Glan Martins.

87' Chance for Espada! He sneaks past his marker and races into the box with plenty of room, but just can't find the target.

85' WHAT A THUNDERBOLT FROM CRESPI! His ferocious drive from 30-odd yards beats the 'keeper but goes on to clatter against crossbar.

79' East Bengal's captain, Ralte, has been subbed off. He clashed with a Churchill attacker in the box and seems to have taken a heavy blow to the head.  Naorem Tondomba Singh takes his place on the pitch.

77' Second change for the home side as Jovel Martins is replaced by Mamit.

75' We're down to the last quarter of play and both side's are still chasing an elusive goal. Churchill has looked the better side since the restart, while East Bengal continues to throw men forward. Espada and Colado have created chances aplenty but the side has struggled with its finishing.

72' First change of the evening for the home side - Israil Gurung comes on for Vinil Poojary.

67' Ambitious attempt here from Plaza! He fired a swerving volley from right, but fails to trouble the East Bengal goalkeeper.

63' What a fantastic chance for Plaza! He finds himself in a great position and has just the 'keeper to beat, but Ralte does really well to run off his line and deny the Churchill striker.

60' First change for EB: Abhijit Sarkar is replaced by Brandon.

55' Bit of a scrappy start to the second half. Neither side able to create any chances so far.

47' - The second half begins. East Bengal gets an early free-kick which is taken by Lalrindika, but the Churchill Brothers custodian collects the delivery.

 

East Bengal looked the better side in the opening half hour but Churchill came back in fine fashion for the last quarter of play. Plaza had a couple of strong changes for the home side, while Juan Mera squandered a great chance for East Bengal early on. At the halfway stage, the scoreline remains unchanged at 0-0.

45+3' More drama here! Espada is on the floor but the Churchill players decide to play on. Plaza is released into the box and gets off a fine shot, but his strike whizzes past the goal. 

45' The fourth official has signalled for three minutes of added time.

44' Things are heating up here. Aidara hacks down Martins from behind and is booked right away. Martins appears to be severely injured and is stretchered away.

42' Lovely move this! Plaza and Alhassan exchange a couple of passes in the box and Alhassan chips it for Plaza at the far post, but the Trinidadian can't find the target.

33' Risky save from Ralte. The East Bengal custodian just about manages to keep out a curling direct corner. That was Churchill's second corner of the game.

30' Ouch, that's going to hurt! Eusebio makes a high challenge on Primus and the latter is writhing in pain! Eusebio is shown a yellow card for the reckless challenge.

28' Goaaaaaal......not. Colado fires an inswinging corner and Mondal can't keep it out! The ball floats into the net, but the linesman raises his flag. The goalkeeper's was shoved in the goalmouth melee and the ref has awarded a goalkick.

25' First booking of the game - Robert Primus picks up a yellow for a late challenge.

23' Chance! Juan Mera is played int the ball courtesy of a delightful through ball. He finds the ball on his favoured left foot, but blazes his attempt over the crossbar. That could prove to be a costly miss!

15' Churchill comes into the tie on the back of a surprise loss to Indian Arrows and look eager to prove a point. No clear chances yet though. East Bengal is slowly gathering momentum and is starting to pile pressure on the home side's defence.

10' It's been an interesting opening 10 minutes with neither side able to draw first blood. Table topper East Bengal has looked sharp, while the home side has had its host of chances too.

Here's Churchill's starting XI - Vaz, Abu Bakr, AlHassan, Plaza, Robert Primus, Mondal, Poojary, Lalkhawpuimawia, Glan Martins, Costa, Jovel Martins

Here's how East Bengal will line up today - Ralte, Kamalpreet, Sarkar, Colado, Aidara, Eusebio, Lalrindika Ralte, Crespi, Juan Mera, Amebkar, Mehtab Singh

1' KICK OFF!

PREVIEW

On the first matchday of the new year, Churchill Brothers will host table topper East Bengal at the Fatorda stadium on Saturday.

Churchill Brothers comes on the back of a shock defeat at the hands of the young Indian Arrows, which was the Red Machines' first defeat of the season.

“We showed a poor image of our team in our last game. We must do better as a team playing without the ball. We gave too much space to them to play and they got confidence and believed that they can draw because we could not score the second goal to kill the result of the game," said head coach Bernardo Tavares, reflecting on the 1-2 defeat.

Tavares, though, added that he has studied its next opponent, East Bengal, well. “I have already analysed their four games in the league. Their Spanish players are good but others are also good. So we need to see them as a strong unit," he said. "We must be sharper- with as well as without the ball, transitions and in the set pieces.”

East Bengal is the only undefeated team in the league and has been in a scintillating form. After the initial two draws against Real Kashmir FC and Punjab FC, East Bengal registered two back-to-back wins -- over TRAU and NEROCA FC. East Bengal will be playing after a long time -- its first match since December 14.

Head coach Alejandro Menendez said, “I think the team is high on confidence, good results have helped the same and we are working really well together as a team. We will face the game with optimism and are motivated to keep continuing the work we have been doing.”

Although the Red Machines were on the receiving end against Indian Arrows, Menendez warned his boys before taking them on, “Churchill Brothers are a threatening side and even if they did not win last game, I am sure they will be very motivated to play against us. They will play at home, they know we are in good shape, we will not have the surprise factor as Arrows had. I understand we need to be very sharp in defence and in the attack. If we are not able to perform at a high level, it will be tough to get 3 points.”

Where to watch?

Fans can catch all the action live on D-Sport. The game will also be streamed live on Tata Sky for subscribers and JioTV.