Last Updated: February 03, 2023, 22:06 IST
East Bengal registered a crucial 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters (FSDL Image)
Cleiton Silva scored on his birthday East Bengal beat Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the Indian Super League
East Bengal defeated Kerala Blasters FC 1-0 in the Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.
Cleiton Silva scored on his birthday as East Bengal registered their first-ever win over Kerala Blaster in the Indian Super League.
After a minute’s silence for Parimal Dey, who passed away earlier in the week, the game got off to a quick attack from East Bengal. Naorem Singh was brought down inside the first minute with the referee awarding a free-kick. Cleiton Silva stepped up only to blast the spot kick well over the crossbar.
Kerala too were not far behind with their first attempt. In the seventh minute, Adrian Luna put in a dangerous cross with Rahul KP jumping high unmarked to get a header on target that Kamaljit Singh could not stop in the East Bengal goal. VP Suhair stood on the goal line to stop the ball from crossing as the referee waved away calls for a handball.
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East Bengal boss Stephen Constantine made an early change to bring off Ankit Mukherjee and replace him with Mohamad Rakip in the 16th minute. The defender had made a mistake minutes earlier with a missed kick. On being brought off, Ankit expressed visible frustration, lashing out with the jersey and was promptly asked to leave the bench too by the gaffer.
Cleiton Silva made an appeal for a penalty in the 25th minute after he was eased away in his effort to reach for cross by Harmanjot Khabra, which was denied.
In the 33rd minute, Ruivah Hormipam made slid in the last moment to thwart Jake Jervis after Cleiton won the ball in midfield and played it over to Suhair, who in turn, sent in a late cross.
With the half drawing to a close, East Bengal managed to put the ball in the back of the net but the linesman’s raised flag showed that Suhair had strayed offside.
The drama was not over though for the first 45 as Cleiton was denied by two saves from Karanjit Singh as the referee did not see merit in calls for a penalty after an alleged Jeakson Singh handball.
There was comedy after the restart as East Bengal’s lightning-fast break was cancelled out by Naorem Singh and Cleiton Silva falling over each other having beaten the keeper and an empty goal gapping.
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In the 53rd minute, Kamaljit Singh pulled off a stunning save to deny Apostolos Giannou, who met a KP Rahul cross sweetly.
Jervis, one on one with the keeper, shot wide of the upright but was saved by the referee’s offside flag.
Sahal Abdul Samad, who came on in the second half, dribbled past four EBFC defenders but lost the ball without much of a challenge soon after.
In the 77th minute, East Bengal finally had their goal as Cleiton bundled home a deflected cross from Naorem. With that, the birthday boy took his goals tally to 10 for the season.
There was drama after the 90 minutes as well with East Bengal’s Mobashir Rahman and physiotherapist Shehil Muhammed saw red cards. The former getting his second yellow.
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