I-League: Martins stars as East Bengal beat Shivajians

East Bengal, who started with the same team from Kolkata Derby, earned all three points from their first home match in Hero I-League 2015-16 against debutants DSK Shivajians.

Mohun Bagan's goal-scorer Ranti Martins celebrate with his team-mates   -  I League Media

East Bengal, who started with the same team from Kolkata Derby, earned all three points from their first home match in Hero I-League 2015-16 against debutants DSK Shivajians, courtesy a strike from in-form Ranti Martins, at the Vidyasagar Krirangan here today.

Derrick Pereira, coach of Shivajians, opted to start the match with striker Aser Dipanda in attack while Douhou Pierre marshalled the midfield.

But it was home side had two half chances to open their scoring within the first ten minutes. Do Dong Hyun’s free kick from 20 yards was acrobatically saved by DSK’s goalie Subrata Paul. Then Ranti Martins released a thunderbolt, after collecting a pass from Jairu, which went narrowly wide.

A minute before the half-hour mark, Mehtab Hussein’s corner was met by Mohammed Rafique, whose shot rattled the bar, but Ranti Martins showed good presence of mind to steal the goal in the rebound.

On the hour mark, Dong cut in from the left but missed another chance to put his team up as he shot wide. East Bengal had several chances that went begging and most of them came from their South Korean recruit Do Dong Hyun who was later adjudged man-of-the-match.

Just after the break Dong cut through two Shivajians defenders from the left but he failed to keep it in the target with his angular shot missing the far post by a few inches. The South Korean missed another sitter in the 76th minute after he was set up by Joaquim Abranches.

The qualifiers from Pune were impressive in the second period too and very nearly brought on their first I-League goal and the equaliser in the 73rd minute.

But the crosspiece came to the rescue for the red and gold brigade who survived the late scare to secure three points.

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