Saturday, 25th April 2015, Kolkata – Goals from Dudu Omagbemi, Ranti Martins and Shylo Malswamtulunga helped East Bengal to down Dempo SC 3-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata in a round 19 I-League clash on Saturday. Substitute Tolgay Ozbey pulled one back for the away side late in the game as he continued his good run of form.
Eelco Schattorie, the coach of the coach of the Kolkata Giants made just one change to his side as Shylo Tluanga made his way back in the team with marquee player Leo Bertos dropping out. His counterpart, Trevor Morgan, in the Dempo SC dugout did the same with Nirmal Chettri replacing the suspended Shaikh Jewel Raja who ironically received his suspension merely hours before kickoff against East Bengal for an incident that occurred involving Pune FC keeper more than a week before the match against the Kolkata outfit.
The opening exchanges saw both teams share much of the possession however with minimum threat to each others goals. The first chance befell the home side in the 14th minute when Cavin Lobo burst through the left and cut it back for Harmanjot Khabra. The East Bengal skipper’s cross saw Ranti Martins attempt a bicycle kick but failed to muster enough power in it as it went straight into the hands of the Dempo custodian, Laxmikant Kattimani.
Haroon Amiri then had to be subbed 6 minutes later when he picked up, what looked like a fairly serious injury. The Afghan National being replaced by Clifford Miranda. Midway through the first half though, the dead lock was broken. Dudu Omagbemi lobbed the ball over an onrushing Kattimani to put the home side into the lead. This was after Ranti Martins had put him through on goal with an inch perfect pass from his own half to pick up the assist.
Soon though Ranti was in on the act too to continue his fine goal scoring form that has seen him run away with the top scorers prize for this season so far. Abhishek Das’ cross from the right saw Martins out jump Calum Angus and head it in as the ball hit the far post on its way in. The home side continued to dominate proceedings thereafter as Dempo failed to test Abhijit Mondal in goal.
However, just before the end of the first half, Arnab Mondal was alert to deny Sushil Singh take a shot on goal from inside the box.
Morgan made a couple of substitutions at the start of the second half as Tolgay Ozbey and Gabriel Fernandes were introduced with Holicharan Narzary and Peter Carvalho being subbed. Eight minutes into the second session, Miranda did well to find Ozbey inside the box. However, the Australian striker was closely marked by Das which didn’t allow the former East Bengal player to take a shot. It was a rare opportunity for the Dempo SC striker as East Bengal continued to assert their dominance in the match.
East Bengal soon had their third goal of the night in the 64th minute, when Tluanga’s long ranger hit the top corner. Mehtab’s shot was blocked by Angus and Mama unleashed a thunderous strike with the outside of his boot off the rebound, which gave Dempo SC custodian. Kattimani absolutely no chance.
In the 68th minute, Ozbey ran into the opposition box and Das was guilty of pulling the Australian’s jersey. While Ozbey didn’t budge and continued to stay on his feet, he lost the ball and turned to the referee asking for a penalty as his appeals fell on deaf ears.
Sushil Singh made his way into the box and left substitute Gurwinder Singh in his wake. But his shot missed the far post by some distance and the goal scoring opportunity went begging for the away side.
Deepak Mondal made a save on the line after Ozbey’s header from a Gabriel Fernandes’ corner-kick looked set to go in.
Gurwinder Singh needlessly bundled Sushil Singh inside the box which left the referee with no option but to award a penalty. Ozbey stepped up to slot it home with Mondal guessing it right by diving to his right but failed to stop the spot-kick.
The scoreline stayed the same as East Bengal continued their outside challenge for the title as Dempo SC’s stop start season continued. Add to that the injury to Amiri and you can see why the Goan Giants have struggled this season.