Durand Cup: deprives East Bengal win over Bangladesh Army

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News Desk

The Bangladesh Army Football Team (BAFT) held a 10-man East Bengal 2-2, after an exciting last-few minutes in the Group A 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup game between the two teams here at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK).

In the second game of the first Sunday of the tournament, the Kolkata side when 2-0 up in the first-half through goals from Saul Crespo and Siviero, but Shariar Emon first and then substitute Meraj Pradhan kept the visitors in contention after Nishu Kumar had received marching orders for an off the ball challenge in the 67th minute.

With the Kolkata derby against Mohun Bagan Super Giant coming up next, East Bengal will rue their missed chances particularly in the first half and with a new look squad and coach will be under severe pressure to go through from the group which also has Punjab FC in it.

Spaniard Javier Siverio, one of two Spaniards in Spanish gaffer Carles Cuadrat’s starting eleven, seemed to put the red and golds ahead just under five minutes into the game, off a wonderfully weighted Naorem Mahesh cross from the left flank, but he was booked eventually for handball.

Mahesh and Nandha Kumar took a lot of work load for their team, switching flanks, going down to defend and creating chances. That resulted prolonged periods of domination for Emami East Bengal but the deadlock refused to be broken.

The the goal finally came in the 34th minute when Kamrul Islam pulled back Nishu Kumar inside the Bangladesh penalty box. The second Spanish player Saul Crespo, made no mistake from the spot.

Then just before the break, East Bengal thought they had an insurance second with Siverio heading in clean this timem from a Harmanjot Khabra floater from the right.

The second half saw scrappy football for most parts and East Bengal did get the better chances but failed to convert any. The Nishu Kumar was sent-off and Bangladesh sensed a chance.

Two events then happened in the 88th minute. Gursimrat Gill was replaced by Australian Jordan Elsey and Shariar Emon pulled one back for Bangladesh’s first goal of the tournament. It came off a Mehedi Hasan throw-in from the left-flank, which took a couple of headers on the way to land in the path of Emon. The lanky forward struck with his left and the ball took a couple of bounces along the ground to beat keeper Prabhsukhan Gill.

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