East Bengal has registered two back to back away wins at the start of the Hero I-League 2018-19 season. Shillong Lajong lost 1-3 at home to the Red and Golds today at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong.
TalkSports24x7 will be analysing the match and mark the top 5 talking points from those ninety minutes:
1) East Bengal not dependent on any single player to score:
The Red and Golds are not dependent on one player to score in the league. Forward Enrique Esqueda scored a brace against NEROCA FC in their last match. Besides Jobby Justin scoring a brace, U-22 midfielder Bidyasagar Kh. Singh also scored a goal today to take the Kolkata giants to the top of the table with full points from two games. Jobby headed his first goal from Lalrindika Ralte’s inch perfect set piece, and shot his second from Esqueda’s lob over Kenstar Kharshong, while, young Bidyasagar took his opportunity on a loose ball from Lajong midfielder Dameki Khongstia to slot home his first this season. With two Indians on the scoresheet, it will really be a pleasing factor for Alejandro Ménendez.
2) Red and Gold’s defence problems seems to be solved:
During the regional tournament- Calcutta Football League: Premier Division A, the Red and Golds conceded 6 goals in 4 matches after bringing in their Costa Rican marquee defender Jhonny Acosta, which brought up a bunch of questions on the defender. Now, their defence seems stout with their Spanish Wall- Borja Gomez Perez and Johnny Acosta, conceding only once in two away games. If East Bengal has to do well in the league then the partnership between these two has to be rock solid.
3) Improvement of Indian football:
Shillong Lajong signed no foreigners this season to develop Indian players from the north-east and bring them to limelight. The club is giving the north-eastern players a perfect platform to shine at this level and this will provide them opportunities for the future. An all-Indian team consisting mostly U-22 players playing such great football is a matter of pride. Having around 65% ball possession in both the matches, Lajong controls proceedings in their game, but they lack the finishing touch in front of the goal, which is the reason we see Indian clubs bringing in foreigner strikers. It would be a next big thing in Indian football if Lajong goes on to perform wonders in this I-League.
4) Manoj Mohammed- A New Find:
A graduate from the East Bengal academy at Jalpaiguri, Manoj Mohammed was the captain of the Red and Golds’ U-18 team last season. His performance in the youth league impressed the club officials and coaching staffs so much that he was brought in to the senior team from immediate effect. His performance is impressing all viewers each and every day and he has a long way to go.
5) Red and Golds should concentrate more on possession:
Although, the Red and Golds are on top of the league table with six points from two games (both away), they had less ball possession in both the matches. 41% ball possession against NEROCA FC and 35% against Shillong Lajong FC, East Bengal are completely relied on counter attacking football. A razor-sharp attack has scored five goals in two games and the foreign duo in defence has conceded only once, but an all-Indian midfield has been unable to keep possession to themselves. The Red and Gold gaffer brought in Kassim Aidara in the second half to narrow the defensive lines and keep the ball a little more with themselves but it did not help to increase possession. Alejandro Ménendez will be looking into this matter and train his midfielders accordingly.
Quess East Bengal FC move to the top of the Hero I-League 2018-19 table with all points from two games and a goal difference of +4, while Shillong Lajong sit on the fourth spot with three points from same games. East Bengal will next host Chennai City FC on Tuesday, 13th November, while Shillong Lajong will travel to Cuttack to face the AIFF development side Indian Arrows on Monday, 5th Novemeber.
(Scorers: Jobby Justin 12’ 41’ Bidyasagar Singh 74’ (QEB) Rakesh Pradhan 71’ (SLFC)
Man of the match: Jobby Justin (QEB))