SC East Bengal 1-1 FC Goa: Report, Ratings & Reaction as the Red and Gold Brigade Battle to a Draw

The 10th matchday of the Indian Super League continued to provide exciting action as 10th-placed SC East Bengal faced 3rd-placed FC Goa. The technical home side had finally managed to bring up their first ISL win last time out, while the Gaurs were on a two-game winning run and wanted to cement their spot in the playoff spots. An important clash was set to ensue in Goa, and here’s what we made of it:


Debjit Majumdar was called into action within five minutes as he had to make a diving save off James Donachie’s header following a Brandon Fernandes free-kick. East Bengal’s first chance of the match came in the 28th minute when Aaron Amadi-Holloway met Narayan Das’s free-kick near the six-yard box, but his header went wide. A minute later, Raju Gaikwad launched a long throw to the back post, where Danny Fox was unmarked, but he somehow missed the target. FC Goa came close to opening the scoring 11 minutes later as Saviour Gama was allowed to shoot from range, but his bottom corner-bound effort was well-saved by Debjit Majumdar. The left-back came close to scoring against just before half-time when his deflected effort was creeping in again, but the keeper made another key stop. In first-half stoppage-time, Aaron Amadi-Holloway had another free header following a free-kick, but this time he sent it way high. Things took a big turn in the 56th minute when Danny Fox was sent off for a reckless challenge on Alexander Romario. Despite that, the Red and Gold Brigade had a huge chance in the 60th minute when Matti Steinmann dribbled forward from inside his own half and opened up a shooting angle at the edge of the box, but he missed wide. There was another huge twist in the tale in the 79th minute when Bright Enobakhare dribbled past half of the Goa side, zigzagged past a couple of defenders in the box and slotted past the keeper to score an absolute sizzler.
FC Goa needed just over a minute to respond, though, as substitute Devendra Murgaonkar headed Saviour Gama’s cross past Debjit Majumdar at the far post.

SC East Bengal managed to hold on, though, getting a deserved point from a 1-1 draw.


Key Talking Point

After finally managing to win their first ISL match in nine attempts, East Bengal knew that avoiding defeat tonight was a tough ask. With Anthony Pilkington out due to a minor injury and Jacques Maghoma only making the bench for similar reasons, Robbie Fowler made five changes to his starting lineup. There was a tactical change too, as his side fielded a back-five. Out of possession, they held a 5-3-2/5-2-3 depending on Bright Enobakhare’s decision to press. They were happy to cede possession in order to threaten their opponents on the counterattack. However, most of their big chances came from set-pieces. A corner and a Raju Gaikwad long throw gave Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Danny Fox two huge chances respectively, but they both missed the target altogether. These chances would come back to haunt them in the second half, as a red card for Danny Fox meant that they were on the backfoot for over a third of the match. At the other end, Debjit Majumdar did have to make a few key saves, but there was nothing majorly threatening his goal.
Things took a big turn late on, as Bright Enobakhare scored a wonder-goal before Goa quickly equalised. They did a great job of holding on to a draw thereafter, coming away with a deserved point.

Player Ratings

Debjit Majumder (7.5), Ankit Mukherjee (6), Scott Neville (6), Raju Gaikwad (6.5), Danny Fox (3), Narayan Das (6.5), Milan Singh (5), Matti Steinmann (6.5), Bright Enobakhare (8*), Aaron Amadi-Holloway (5.5), Harmanpreet Singh (5)

Subs: Jacques Maghoma (5.5), Surchandra Singh (5), Mohammed Rafique (N/A)

Debjit Majumder

Bright Enobakhare might have scored the match-saving goal for his side, but his side may well have been three down before that if it wasn’t for Debjit Majumdar.

The ex-ATK shot-stopper made a number of crucial saves, especially in the first half to keep the scores level. He had to keep out James Donachie’s header after a free-kick early on. Thereafter, he had to make a couple of routine stops and some more notable ones off Saviour Gama’s long-ranged efforts in a brilliant first-half display. He wasn’t worked half as hard in the second period, but he looked solid then too, except the goal he conceded.

The 32-year-old keeper made eight crucial saves, including three from shots inside the box, and made a couple of punches and high claims to help his side to a crucial point.

Savejit indeed.


Key Talking Point

FC Goa knew that a win here would effectively seal a top-four spot for them until matchday 11 – the end of the first half of the season.

Two wins in their last two matches meant that they had momentum on their side, and the fact that Juan Ferrando made just one change to his lineup preserved that. As expected, they had a clear majority of possession in the first half with 68% of the ball, but they couldn’t really pose a goal threat bar a couple of long-distance efforts from Saviour Gama. In truth, they were rather lucky to go into the half-time break without conceding as East Bengal had a number of set-piece chances.

Goa got a huge advantage just over 10 minutes into the second half when Danny Fox saw red for a rather reckless challenge. However, if anything, they created even fewer chances thereafter and looked even blander in attack. Therefore, they deservedly conceded in the 79th minute, and then they suddenly woke up and equalised in just over a minute.

FC Goa didn’t really threaten the goal thereafter, so there was no late comeback tonight.

Player Ratings

Mohammad Nawaz (5), Seriton Fernandes (6.5), James Donachie (6.5), Iván González (6), Saviour Gama (7.5*), Princeton Rebello (6), Edu Bedia (6.5), Alexander Romario (6), Jorge Ortiz (6.5), Brandon Fernandes (6), Igor Angulo (5.5)

Subs: Devendra Murgaonkar (7), Aibanbha Dohling (5), Alberto Noguera (5.5), Ishan Pandita (N/A)

What This Means:

FC Goa stay in third spot, but are two points clear now, while East Bengal move one place up to ninth. Danny Fox saw the ninth red card of the season, while Bright Enobakhare scored his second goal of the campaign. Devendra Murgaonkar opened his ISL tally tonight, but Igor Angulo missed the chance to match Coro’s record of 10 goals in his first 10 FC Goa games.

SC East Bengal face Bengaluru FC next on Saturday, while FC Goa’s next clash is on the 14th against Jamshedpur FC. Stats courtesy

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