Kolkata: East Bengal got back to winning ways by beating DSK Shivajians 1-0 at the Barasat Stadium, on Tuesday. Ranti Martins (30’) scored the only goal of the game in a tie that was largely dominated by the Kolkata based side.
Biswajit Bhattacharya, unsurprisingly, went in with an unchanged side that put up a valiant display in the Kolkata derby three days ago.
DSK Shivajians made as many as five changes from their failed trip to Aizawl. Zoding, Justin Stephen, Haroon Amiri, Don Bosco and Indrajeet Chougale made way for Lal Ralte, Hakku, Lobo, Israil Gurung and Mohammed Rafi.
The first piece of action came in the eight minute after Du Dong Hyun stepped up to take a free-kick from 20 yards out. The South Korean got the right bend on his hit but failed to get enough curl on it to beat Subrata Paul’s outstretched right hand.
Minutes later, East Bengal had another chance, this time via Ranti Martins, who was set up by a delightful pass from the left by Bikash Jairu. The forward could not sort his feet out with the ball being played just away from his reach and the home side missed a good chance to take an early lead.
Dead ball attempts seemed to be the trend of the evening, and it was DSK’s attempt this time from a free-kick that raised a couple of eyebrows in the 15th minute. Douhou Pierre curled one above the East Bengal wall but Rehenesh was up to the challenge.
In their previous two games, Derrick Pereira deployed Haroon Amiri as the defensive midfielder in front of the back-line. However, a more offensive formation was adopted by the side from Pune with the onus on Douhou to provide the impetus in attack.
DSK’s inexperience in defence came forth in the 30th minute, as East Bengal scored through Ranti Martins. Mohammad Rafique hit the cross bar with a drive at goal from the edge of the box and the ball fell straight to Martins who made no mistake.
East Bengal lost momentum as the half went on and as the referee signaled for half-time, the score-line read 1-0 to the Red and Golds.
The second half began with East Bengal manufacturing back-to-back chances in the 49th minute. In the first attempt, a cushion header from Martins was volleyed at goal with impeccable technique by Rafique, but his attempt went inches wide.
Dong Hyun was then laid off by Martins yet again with a through ball. The South Korean showed good strength as he fended off attention but his left-footed shot went wide of the target.
Despite East Bengal passing the ball around with ease and looking potent going forward, DSK looked more organized in the second half.
The visitors nearly scored against the run of play in the 70th minute as Israil Gurung’s left-footed shot from a corner deflected off Bello Rasaq and hit the crossbar. Rehenesh was beaten all ends up and the visitors were unlucky not to restore parity.
The Red and Gold’s repeated efforts to penetrate the DSK defence did not bear fruit and the score-line finished 1-0. While Derrick Pereira would be pleased with his side’s second half display, Biswajit Bhattacharya will look at his team’s chances to goal’s conversion going into their next game.