East Bengal draws with MFC at home

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Kolkata: A tight encounter between the Red and Gold of East Bengal and the Whites of Mumbai saw spoils shared at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata. The away side took a lead in the first half through penalty converted by Josimar da Silva, but their hopes to  salvage a win were evaporated as Dud scored in his third game running with an instictive header. The Royals had a chance to seal all threep oints as Nidhin Lal fouled Ranti in the box, but the resultant penalty was well saved by the custodian.

The draw saw East Bengal sit in 5th as Mumbai FC maintained 8th place.

 Eelco Schattorie opted to field the same team that was put out against Pune FC, save Luis Barreto starting in goal, replacing Abhijit Mondal. Leo Bertos continued on the left side with Dudu Omagbemi and Ranti Martins starting upfront.

Khalid Jamil who was banned from the touchline himself, opted to start with Josimar da Silva upfront alongside Abhishek Yadav.

The match was a stale affair and it seemed the lack of spectators in the stand, had taken out the desire from both sides.

 Two minutes from the half hour mark, Bertos had done well to wriggle out of his markers before finding Khabra with a lovely ball. The skipper did well to take it in his stride, before his half volley was just wide off the goal.

It was the away side however which scored the opening goal, through Josimar who converted a penalty in the 33rd minute. It was after Khabra had inexplicably handled the ball in the box following a Justine Stephen header off a Climax Lawrence freekick down the right side.

In the 42nd minute, Milan Susak put in two great blocks. First he got in front of a cross from Jayesh Rane down the right with Josimar lurking behind and then followed it up with blocking Rane’s shot from the rebound just outside the box.

Mumbai FC came close from the get go when Jayesh Rane got at the end of a long ball in the box but Robert was there in time to recover and cleared the danger with Rane only having the goalkeeper to beat.

The Red and Golds got the elusive equaliser from a set piece as Dudu showed his striking instincts to power a header from a Robert freekick down the right in the 56th minute.

In the 65th minute Lobo was desperately unlucky as he chested down a ball from Ranti down the left but the crossbar came in the way of his pildriver. In the 71st minute, East Bengal were on the cusp of a lead after Nidhin Lal flung Ranti Martins in the box, giving away a penalty.

Ranti stepped up to take the spot kick but failed to beat Nidhin Lal who saved the tame effort, diving to his right while Dudu failed to convert the rebound.

In the 78th minute, Taisuke was guilty of wasting a glorious opportunity after Rane had initiated a break from midfield. The Japanese had set himself up getting past two defenders before his shot was saved by a diving Barreto.

The game ended without further incident as both teams stoked out for a draw.

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