East Bengal 3-0 Chennai City FC : The Red and Gold Trounce The Debutants To Move Up To The Zenith
East Bengal edged past Chennai City after a brilliant second-half display notching up 3 valuable goals to move up to the top of the table.
Goals from Haitian Wedson Anselme, Trinidad and Tobago recruit, Willis Plaza and their skipper Lalrindika Ralte sealed the fate of the game for the hosts.
Chennai had the first categorical chance of the game as early as in the 4th minute when Charles Dsouza darted forward and outfoxed an onrushing T.P Rehenesh. However, before he could have unleashed the shot, Gurwindwer Singh stepped in with a brilliant foot to deny him glory.
East Bengal came up with an instant retort when Wedson Anselme chipped in with a delectable through-ball for Nikhil Poojari, who did it exceptionally well to receive the ball and was through on goal with only Abhra Mondal to beat but he ended up shooting for the stars.
After that effort, East Bengal dried up in the first-half. Despite their doggedness upfront, they failed to make any inroads against the likes of Dhanpal Ganesh, Iche, and Ravanan who took an impregnable stand in Chennai defense.
East Bengal came in very close to scoring when Nikhil Pujari whipped in a cross for Robin Singh in the 16thminute, who miscued the header to pose any threats for the hosts.
Plaza had another chance for him when his miscued header sailed over the woodwork in the 28th minute from a Narayan Das center.
Abhra Mondal came to the bailout of his team again when he charged forward to take a high catch thwarting Nikhil Poojari’s cross.
East Bengal was completely a transformed side in the second-half as they were a lot more prolific and started to harrow the visitors with unremitting runs down the center.
The early salvo in the second-half paid off dividends in quick time after Wedson Anselme nudged the ball home from a Dika through-ball.
Ralte chipped in a delightful through-ball for Wedson, who latched on to it and with a deft touch slapped it past a fully stretched Abhra Mondal to take the lead.
Marcos Vinicius tried to restore parity in a minute but failed when his shot flew miles away from the woodwork.
Another opportunity went begging for Chennai when Abhishek Das lashed in a lovely center for Marcos, but the latter took too much time and his final shot sailed into the stands.
East Bengal doubled their lead in a trice of this attack from Chennai when Plaza emulated Wedson’s opener for East Bengal. Wedson after an adept twist and turn sent a defense-splitting pass for Plaza. Plaza latched onto it and calmly prodded the ball home.
The dying embers of the game saw East Bengal polishing off the rout in an emphatic fashion. A sprinting Thongkosiem Haokip was upended by Iche in the box. Haokip was tripped after he caught a stretched leg of Iche and came a cropper. The stickler instantly spotted to the spot much to the delight of the fans.