Vasco, March 5: SC East Bengal narrowly lost out to Bengaluru FC by a solitary Sunil Chhetri goal in their last match of this season’s Hero Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa. The men in Red-&-Gold will be disappointed with themselves for not showing up on the score sheet in spite of taking 17 shots on goal, 5 of which were on target.
With the win, Bengaluru FC finished the season at the 6th spot on the ISL table, with 29 points from 20 matches, while SC East Bengal ended their run at the 11th spot, collecting 11 points from 20 matches in the process.
SC East Bengal started the game brightly. Young striker Subha Ghosh, given a place in the starting XI for the first time, chased the ball into BFC’s defensive half and won it quite a few times. Antonio Perosevic also produced some deft touches, but was unable to quite find the target.
Tragedy struck for SCEB around the 24th-minute mark, when defender Yaya Banana sent a 40-yard long-ball for BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri. Chhetri chested the ball down and beat Nepal international Ananta Tamang to place it to the right of SCEB custodian Suvam Sen. Sen got a fingertip to the ball but was unable to keep it out.
SC East Bengal eager pursuit of the equaliser was dealt a blow towards the end of the first half when Perosevic, attacking from the right, injured himself and had to be replaced.
SCEB upped the ante in the second half, pushing harder and harder for their elusive goal, but found it difficult to beat BFC goalkeeper Lara Sharma, who was adjudged man-of-the-match. Marcelo Dos Santos, who replaced Perosevic, found himself in scoring positions more than once, but was unable to make clean contact with the ball.
SC East Bengal will have a point to prove next season, and their millions of fans across the world will be watching their favourite team with bated breath, expecting the Red-&-Gold Brigade to come out all guns blazing in ISL 9.