Sporting, E Bengal in goalless draw

Sporting Clube de Goa with all their local players played their hearts out against East Bengal as they held the ball for long with quick short passes though they could not penetrate inside the rival defence, and the match ended in a goalless draw

MARGAO: Sporting Clube de Goa played with a lot of vigour to put it across the Federation Cup winners Kingfisher East Bengal but fell little short to snatch a win and admirably split points in an explosive I-League football match at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Sunday.
Both the teams got number of scoring opportunities but neither could convert them into a goal, and as a result the match ended in a mere draw. While Sporting could have wrapped up the match with not less then three clear goals in the first half, the second half was well controlled by East Bengal particularly in the last few minutes of the game where they missed glorious chances.
For the first eight minutes of play, the proceedings were more or less played on equal footing, though it was East Bengal who tried a shot in the very 4th minute through their ace striker Edeh Chidi which went quite wide.
Sporting were quick to respond with Macroy Peixoto firing a shot in similar fashion towards the East Bengal goal.
After the initial exchanges, it was the Goan outfit who were all over the East Bengal territory creating umpteen opportunities time and again. They came so close to scoring that a goal looked imminent at any time.
Spreading the ball well, Sporting wove rings round the East Bengal citadel for a major part of the first half with quick exchanges of short passes that kept the East Bengal defence in disarray.
Freiman Peixote, Rojen Singh and Dawson Fernandes had come very close to scoring, and had their chances were converted into goals in the first session of play, East Bengal would have found it difficulty to recover.
In the second session, after receiving some tips in the dressing room from coach Tevor Morgan, the East Bengal team looked totally different as they managed to keep their opponents on the backfoot most of the time.
During this period, Sporting were only seen defending their fort and occasionally threatening the rivals on counter moves.
But it was East Bengal who almost had three points but for the glorious misses from Edeh Chidi and Mehtab Hussein in the last three minutes of play. First, Mehtab’s header off a corner kick failed to enter the nets and when the rebound came to Edeh Chidi, he headed over the bar from the very shadow of the goal.
Sporting Clube de Goa played Sunday’s match without a single foreigner and this was well appreciated by East Bengal coach Tevor Morgan who during the post match briefing said, “Our opponents played with all their heats and enthusiasm though we had a grip in the second session and they played without any foreigners.
“I am really not happy with the performance of my team today and despite clear chances we failed to manage to get a goal in our favour in the second half,” the coach said.
“This is how it happens in football sometimes,” he said further to sum up the proceedings of the match.
On the other hand, Sporting Clube de Goa coach Ekendra Singh said that it was not an easy job to play against a team whose confidence was high after winning the Federation Cup. He said though his team could have scored a couple of goals in the first half but overall he was happy with the team’s performance. He hoped that two of his key players Kaita and Kalu Ogba would be ready to play in their next encounter.