Goals from substitutes Lalruaitluanga and Silvana helped the Red and Gold round off the amazing win.
East Bengal kicked-off their IFA Shield campaign with a dominant 6-1 win over SAIL Burnpur in the first match of Group A. A hat-trick from Lalcchanhima and goals from substitutes Lalruaitluanga and Silvana helped them record the amazing win.
East Bengal were at their dominant best on the day and put SAIL to the sword with some dazzling attacking movement. The Red and Gold started the game brightly and showed off the attacking prowess early on.
While SAIL did threaten in their own right through counter-attacks, with Souvik Ghosal terrorizing East Bengal’s vulnerable left-back Gourmokh Singh. They kept on moving through the right, but failed to test keeper Ayan Roy. East Bengal kept on the attack and unlocked SAIL’s defense multiple times in the first, half but to no avail.
However, the breakthrough came in the 41st minute, when a stunning through ball found Saurav Mondal, who showed impressive cleverness by calmly laying it off for Suranjit Singh to cooly finish from close range.
East Bengal began the second half in blistering form as two minutes into the half, Lalcchanhima showed great skill to pass it to captain Jhantu Prasad, who shockingly blasted a sitter over the bar. The Red and Gold threatened again in the 52nd minute, when Lalcchanhima and Mondal linked up well on the right flank, before sending in a cross in the middle which met a player’s foot, but the attempt was well saved by SAIL’s Kishan Singh.
But, the East Bengal defense was rocked three minutes later, when SAIL’s Avijit Pradhan dribbled his way through their defence and left them for dead. He then took a powerful shot which sailed into the net and equalized proceedings on the day. But, the Red and Gold came up with an instant response and two minutes later, a terrific pass found Lalcchanhima in the box and he went past SAIL’s keeper and finished with great precision to PUT his side ahead again.
Lalcchanhima was too hot to handle and again on the hour mark he sailed past SAIL’s defenders and laid it off for his teammate, whose poor first touch resulted in a shot which sailed over. The East Bengal #10 was at it again in the 67th minute when he produced a delightful pass to send substitute Lalruaitluanga through on goal, but his shot was barely kept from creeping into the goal by Singh. Lalcchanhima was being an absolute nightmare for SAIL and again in the two minutes later, he was through on goal and scored in a similar fashion by going round Singh and calmly putting the ball into the back of the net.
Lalcchanhima completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, when he luckily received the ball in the box and hit a superb volley to score past Singh once again. The day went from bad to worse three minutes later, when SAIL’s terrible defence let substitute Silvana through in on goal and he cooly finished to get himself on the scoresheet.
Roy made an impressive dive in the 77th minute when he saved a player’s attempt to lob him. Lalruaitluanga got a lucky chance to complete his brace in the 79th minute, but saw his shot blaze over. East Bengal completed the rout in the 86th minute, through a deadly counter-attack and Lalcchanhima was influential again. He went past a few defenders before laying it on a plate for Lalruaitluanga, who easily finished from close range.
This emphatic win helps East Bengal go to the top of Group A. They will face ATK next on Sunday and a win in that match could establish them as group winners.