I-League 2019-20, East Bengal FC vs TRAU FC: EB ekes out 2-1 win, moves top of table

Martin Crespi and Marcos Espada find themselves on the scoresheet as East Bengal, with this win against TRAU FC moves to the top of the I-League table.

East Bengal had bagged its first win this I-League season against NEROCA FC on Tuesday.   -  Twitter (@ILeague)

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

This was Santadeep Dey bringing you all the action as it unfurled at the Kalyani Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

FULL TIME:

QEB FC 2-1 TRAU FC

There is the long whistle! It has been a good day of football! East Bengal hasn't been that impressive in the game but has managed to eke out a 2-1 win.

TRAU FC, although at the bottom of the table, will pat itself on the back for the brand of football it played today: ambitious and aggressive.

EB, which moves to the top of the table, will have things to work on.

 

90' There will be an added time of four minutes.

88' And here is the goal East Bengal needed! The persistence has paid off as the scoreline reads 2-1 in the dying minutes of the game. Crespi doubles up as the second striker, a tactical masterclass from Menendez! A deflected header from Marcos finds Crespi in the box, who nudges it in.

86' Yet another technical bug, ladies and gentlemen.

84' Another setpiece for Quess East Bengal FC after Juan Mera has been brought down. SUBSTITUTION: Tongdomba walks in for Samad.

82' Out of the 15 shots that East Bengal has taken, only three were on target. Tells the story, more or less.

77' YELLOW CARD: TRAU's Angousana has been booked after he takes Ambekar down.

74' A late attacking change from TRAU in search of a winner. Koffi Tetteh comes onto the pitch.

70' YELLOW CARD for Juan Mera.

69' Another setpiece to be taken by Juan Mera after Uche deflects an ambitious attempt from Marti Crespi.

63' Looks like my remark had the wrong timing. Yet another long pass and Espada takes it smoothly to drive one towards the net.

As Gurpreet could only watch the ball go, TRAU had given up hope when the ball missed the target by a whisker; some centimetres, maybe?!

62' Not a good clearance from birthday boy Asheer Akhtar as EB loses possession of the ball. Fair to say, TRAU has been dominating in the second half of this game.

57' The East Bengal defence has been caught napping on multiple occasions now. Princewell dribbles past Marti Crespi to launch an effort that lands just wide.

51' Juan Mera plays it on the left and Ambekar wastes a golden opportunity. A disappointing cross sees the goalkeeper intervene.

47' East Bengal defence looking very sloppy out here. To add to its troubles, Marti Crespi doesn't appear to be in the best of form today.

SECOND HALF

 

45' TRAU SCORES! Deepak, who had pulled off a stunning goalline clearance, earlier, finds himself on the scoresheet, courtesy a pass from Phalguni Singh. EB's defensive woes continue, as it continues to fail at keeping a clean sheet this season: Is the momentum of the game shifting?

40' An ambitious piledriver from the left by Abhishek Ambekar. Wide off the goal! Ambekar has been impressive for EB of late.

37' The telecast glitch is back people. Technical difficulties says the ticker.

35' Freekick to TRAU. Nigerian Patrick Uche to take it... The ball has been cleared by the EB defence.

31' Spain's Marti Crespi plays it square to Samad, who nudges the ball forward to Pintu Mahata. Mahata goes from the distance, but the shot sails wide.

28' It could have been 2-0, but unfortunately EB's Pintu Mahata misses a sitter. A brilliant long ball from the left sails in and all Mahata had to do was head it in. The ball swirls way off the net.

24' A decent move from TRAU, shifting the game from the flanks to charge up the centre, but Kamalpreet makes a timely diving interception.

17' GOAAAAL! Sensational strike by Espada as QEB takes the lead. Cometh the man, cometh the moment!

What a header off a right footed cross from Samad... Now we know why boss Menendez has always been backing his central midfielder despite criticism from all and sundry.

15' YELLOW CARD: Sandeep Singh and Martin Crespi have been booked following some words and shoves exchanged near the TRAU goal.

14' A heroic goalline clearance by Deepak after Espada lobbed one as Gurpreet comes way out ahead of the line. Careless move from the keeper.

13' Six fouls in 13 minutes, and that speaks volumes about how physical the game has been today. Uche takes a freekick and Princewell heads it off the target.

8' SAMAD ALI MALLICK! THAT WAS SO VERY CLOSE!

If you had watched Mallick's goal in the last Durand Cup semifinal against Gokulam Kerala FC, you will know what I am talking about.

A piercing shot from quite a few yards outside the box swirls in to beat goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh, but the elevation on the ball, sees it ricochet off the crossbar.

6' EB coach Alejandro Menendez, when his side defeated Neroca FC at Imphal in its last game, had praised the fan army. And rightly so... What a terrific support we have seen from them at Kalyani. 

"Egiye Cholo East Bengal.." The chants go on...

4' Ronaldo makes a very good run as Samad pushes one long but Sandeep does a very good job of putting the ball away.

1' The crowd cheers on as Marcos Espada rushes in after Ronaldo Oliveira sends one into the box. Denied by the TRAU defenders.

KICKOFF Quess East Bengal to operate from left to right. The Red and Golds have set the ball rolling.

 

FIRST HALF

 

Line-ups:

East Bengal XI: Lalthuammawia Ralte, Asheer Akhtar, Kamalpreet Singh, Pintu Mahata, Kassim Aidara, Marcos Espada, Ronaldo Oliveira, Martin Crespi, Juan Mera, Samad Ali, Abhishek Ambekar.

TRAU XI: Gurpreet Singh, Soraisham Singh, Konsam Singh, Khundongbam Singh, Wahengbam Luwang, Princewell Olariche, Abhishek Das, Denechandram Meitei, Patrick Uche, Deepak Devrani, Laishram Singh.

100
 

 

MATCH PREVIEW:

East Bengal will miss its star midfielder Jaime Santos Colado when it hosts debutant TRAU FC in an I-League fixture in Kolkata on Saturday. The Spaniard, who starred with a brace in a 4-1 rout of NEROCA FC in his side's previous outing, has landed in trouble following his conduct with ball boys in East Bengal's match against Punjab FC in Ludhiana on December 7.

The midfielder reportedly stirred a controversy when he walked over to the ball boys, started arguing and then kicked a ball towards them. The misconduct was later brought to the match commissioner’s notice and subsequently it was forwarded to the disciplinary committee, which suspended the player.

 

Alejandro Menendez will thus miss the services of the star against TRAU FC, a match which is seen as a dress rehearsal for the red-and-golds ahead of their Kolkata derby against Mohun Bagan on December 22. In such a scenario, it remains to be seen whether Jaime will be allowed to play the much-anticipated derby.

East Bengal looked in its elements against NEROCA and another win on Saturday will push it to the top of the table. The victory against NEROCA was its first win of the season which came through a clinical show by its Spanish trio of Jaime, who converted twice from the spot, Juan Mera Gonzalez and Marcos Jimenez, who were also on target.

The win helped East Bengal jump to the third spot in the table with five points from three games and it will hope to gather full points on Saturday to stay two points clear of leader Churchill Brothers. In the absence of Jaime, the former Real Madrid Castilla coach will have to bank on the other two Spanish recruits - Juan and Marcos.

“Marcos is not very fast but he has a special ability that is very good for the I-League. He is very good in duels. He coordinates well with the other attacking players like Jaime (Santos) or Juan Mera,” the coach said.

 

“He shields the centre-backs very well and creates space for other attacking players. He is not a player who is spectacular to watch but he is a very good number nine. Fans are the biggest treasure of this club and we all come behind them. They are number one, the spirit and soul of this club and are our main protagonists,” he said.

The visitor, on the other hand, had a tough start to its maiden I-League campaign, having lost 0-1 at Chennai City and leaking four goals against Mohun Bagan in its latest match. TRAU is yet to open its account and its Brazilian technical director Douglas Silva will have his task cutout.

“All the matches of the I-League will be difficult for us because we are new and young but our players are confident enough to face everyone. It is a great opportunity to play in the I-League and not because we are playing against any particular team. We look at all teams the same way,” Douglas said.

The visitor will hope that Gurpreet continues to be rock-solid under the goal and its striking duo of Nigerian Princewell Emeka and Ghanian Abednego Tetteh deliver for the team.

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.