SC East Bengal Crumble Before ATK Mohun Bagan offensive

Margao, January 29: SC East Bengal suffered defeat of the season at the hands of arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan after taking an early lead in a Hero Indian Super League encounter. 21-year old Kiyan Nassiri’s second-half hattrick ensured the Mariners returned with three points from the return leg as well. With the win, ATKMB climbed to the fourth spot of the ISL table, with 19 points from 11 matches, while SC East Bengal remained at 11th place, with 9 points from 14 games.

SC East Bengal was dealt an early blow in the match in the form of an injury to defender Ankit Mukherjee, who had to be substituted in the 9th minute. SCEB saw very little of the ball in the opening minutes but kept their shape intact, keeping the ATKMB attackers at bay.

As the match progressed, SCEB began to look more confident, with the likes of Antonio Perosevic and Marcelo Ribeiro Dos Santos starting to trouble the ATKMB defence. Marcelo got the best chance of the first half, with Tiri’s defensive lapse allowing the Brazilian to go one-on-one with ATKMB goalkeeper Amrinder Singh. With the whole goal to aim for, Marcelo steered his shot wide.

The second half saw a shift in the general momentum of the game, as both teams started committing more men forward in an effort to break the deadlock. SCEB were the first to succeed, when a corner from Antonio Perosevic found an unmarked Darren Sidoel in the near post. The Dutchman, who had been quiet so far through the game, sprang to life and placed the ball into the back of the net.

However, this glory for the Red-&-Gold Brigade was short-lived, as ATKMB equalised through substitute Kiyan Nassiri a mere 10 minutes later. SCEB looked to have fallen into in disarray as they conceded a penalty soon, after but David Williams shot the ball over the top of the goal.

SC East Bengal had a chance to regain the lead when Lalrinliana Hnamte was fed a delightful square pass which beat the ATKMB defence. Hnamte took a powerful shot from the box but hit it straight to Amrinder.

Later, Hira Mondal made a fantastic goal-line save off a Liston Colaco shot to ensure SC East Bengal stayed in the game, but it was not to be enough. Kiyan Nassiri scored two more goals in the additional time of the second half, making sure SCEB returned empty-handed from this season’s derby.

SC East Bengal play Chennaiyan FC next on February 2, and Mario Rivera will be looking to sort the frailties out as soon as possible to make SCEB again return back to winning ways.

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