Robbie Fowler’s men go down 3-0 in an “away” clash against Mumbai City FC at the Bambolim Stadium. It also marked the 100th appearance in the ISL for Mandar Rao Desai. The defender is the first player to achieve such a feat. The clash was also memorable for Mumbai City’s Number 9, Adam Le Fondre, who played the 600th Senior Appearance of his career.
Mumbai saw the game through, convincingly in the second half, after going into the break with a slender 1-0 lead. Adam Le Fondre, who was leading the line, scored a brace. While Hernan Santana, scored a “Golazo” as we call it!
Mumbai City FC
Defense: Rakip, Fall, Hernan, Vignesh (Pranjal – 60’)
Midfield: Rowllin (Mehtab – 82’), Jahouh
Attack: Bipin (Farukh – 82’), Boumous (Goddard – 82’), Mandar, Le Fondre (Ogbeche – 70’)
SC East Bengal
Defense: Neville, Irshad, Fox (Rafique – 7’), Das
Midfield: Luwang (Sehnaj – 78’), Steinmann
Attack: Maghoma, Pilkington, Surchandra (Abhishek – 77’), Balwant (Jeje- 67’)
The visitors missed a ‘chance’ by Pilkington, while everyone on the pitch thought it to be offside. Amrinder saved the shot pretty easily, which was targeted at him. SC East Bengal was handed a blow, early on in their game, with their Captain, Fox, being substituted in the 7th minute. This made the defense shaky if it weren’t already. Although Rafique looked positive since coming on, forcing Amrinder, a diving save. Apart from this, they did not look threatening moving forward. Mumbai City on the other hand was constantly stringing passes, making moves, trying to build up things. They were eventually rewarded at the 20-minute mark. Boumous dribbled past Surchandra, and gave it on a plate to Adam, who took it home. Creating chances, Mumbai somehow lacked the final touch in the first half.
Both teams seemed to step out on the field with intent. But it was at 47’ that Hugo Boumous drew a foul from Debjit, the goalkeeper, inside the penalty area. As easy as it could get, Adam, sent Debjit the wrong way. The third and final goal of the match came through a beautiful set piece. Jahouh, doing the outfoot curler to Boumous, who passed it the first time, sideways to Hernan, who found the back of the net.
It was an underwhelming performance from Debjit and Balwant, particularly. Pilkington tried to weave some moves alone. But the attacker was not coupled by anyone else on the pitch. Jeje Lalpekhlua, the striker who was subbed on in the second half, was another in the list of positives for East Bengal. He fired a shot in the stoppage time, which took a solid Mohammad Rakip block, to stay away from the net. I doubt Amrinder would’ve saved that, with all due respect to the Flying Mumbaikar.
The final whistle couldn’t have come earlier for SCEB, who looked off in the game. Agreed that ISL is a long competition, but they will need to find the best combination before things start getting worse. No wonder, they have failed to score in both of their matches. Sergio has to be the happier of the coaches. Fowler has to start getting things in place for the newbies and pray that the club Captain is not out for long. It is tough times already for the new boys on the block, as they have been handed over two tough opponents to face, at the start of their debut ISL campaign. The clash resulted in one team reaching the zenith. While others stay at the nadir of things, of course with a game in hand.