I-League: EB Thrashes Shillong Lajong By 5-1

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Sashi Ghosh

Barasat: Putting behind their derby defeat, East Bengal roared back to form with a 5-1 demolition of Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League football fixture on Saturday in Barasat stadium.

Desperate for their first win, East Bengal looked hungry for goals with Mahmoud Al Amna (14) and Eduardo Ferreira (19) giving them a 2-0 cushion at half time.

There was no let-up in their attack after the break as Laldanmawia Ralte (53rd and 65) completed a brace before Katsumi Yusa (79) converted a penalty to complete the rout and jump to fourth in the standings with four points from three outings.

East Bengal however missed out on keeping a clean sheet with Shillong Lajong’s 19 year-old captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia converting from a curling freekick that beat goalkeeper Mirshad K at the far post.

It was an agonising end to a brilliant start by Shillong who had two wins, both at home, to remain at second, but things started to go down for the northeast outfit after that.

They lacked ideas to stop the East Bengal onslaught and struggled to match the Khalid Jamil-coached side that faced severe criticism in the aftermath of a 0-1 derby defeat to Mohun Bagan in the last round.

Jamil handed Cavin Lobo a surprise start, while Arnab Mondal and Mirshad were back in the starting XI. Shillong Lajong who have won against Gokulam and Churchill Brothers, both at home, made a solitary change.

Surrounded by two defenders, Al Amna made full use of an aerial pass in the box as he deceived the Shillong Lajong duo to put the ball at the back of the net with a spectacular finish, in what came off a slight deflection from Rakesh Pradhan.

In a space of five minutes, Yusa’s corner from the right found the head of a rising Eduardo, who put the ball past goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa without much fuss.

East Bengal continued to show sense of urgency and began the second half with a flurry of attacks. Plaza got a cross in the box but could not convert it as Ralte took the possession. But Shillong defence avoided any further damage with Lachenpa lunging ahead to keep his goal safe. But it did not take long for the home side to bring up their third goal.