Mahmoud Amnah masterclass helps East Bengal trounce Aryan Club
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The win also sees the Red and Gold go top of the table in the league.
East Bengal trounced Aryan Club 3-0 in a Calcutta Football League match played at the East Bengal Ground earlier today. Goals from Kassim Aidara, Laldanmawia Ralte and Mahmoud Amnah handed the Red and Gold a dominant win.
It was a crucial fixture for both sides as they were looking for nothing less than three points. It is a matter of brotherhood between both the clubs as they share the same home ground, but today they were rivals. Mahoud Al Annah started as Lalrindika Ralte missed out due to a groin injury.
The Red and Gold started putting pressure right from the kickoff as they were eager to go ahead of arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the table. East Bengal almost opened the scoring when Amnah's early corner was not cleared by the Aryan defenders and it reached Kingshuk Debnath in the box, his shot from close range forced a save from Aryan goalkeeper Souvik Santra.
The Aryan defense was once again under pressure a minute later when Bello Rasaq lost possession in a crucial area and forward Jobby Justin made no mistake to get in behind the defenders. But, the Keralite' shot struck the far post and was cleared away.
East Bengal were successful in finding loopholes in the opposition's final third, but the final ball was missing. Former Aizawl winger, Brandon's ambitious long range effort forced a stunning save from goalkeeper Santra as he simply refused to be beaten.
Aryan had a few rare entries in the East Bengal final third and one such foray was when midfielder Pritam Roy's shot struck defender Mehtab Singh's nose in a nasty encounter, as the defender immediatedly started bleeding. Fortunately, he was back on his feet soon and looked allright.
East Bengal were threatening from their wing, as the former Aizawl duo of Laldanmawia and Brandon have been excellent throughout the campaign and today was no different. Minutes shy of the half hour mark, Brandon's pinpoint cross found Jobby's head, but the forward's header went miles away from goal.
East Bengal's relentless attacks finally bore fruit when Amnah's corner was headed towards the far post by Laldanmawia, where Aidara used his physical presence and headed the ball past the goalkeeper, giving East Bengal a well-deserved lead.
Aryan had a golden opportunity to equalise as a defence-splitting pass fell into the path of forward Subhankar Sardar, who was almost one-on-one with Rakshit Dagar. But, the forward's poor first touch did not help his cause.
The first half was dominated by East Bengal as they were the better side and seemed like scoring more goals in the second half. The second started with the same flamboyance, as they increased the lead in the 50th minute. Amnah's smart movement freed Brandon on the left flank and his pinpoint cross for Danmawia was cooly finished by the former Aizawl FC winger.
Nothing much happened after the second goal from East Bengal, as they took their foot off the pedal. But, in the 56th minute, Aryan coach Debashis Nandy had a heated arguement with the fourth official which resulted in him being sent to the stands.
While the match seemed done and dusted for the Red and Gold, their Syrian superstar came up with a moment of brilliance in the 69th minute. Kamalpreet Singh's pass from the right side found Amnah in the box. He had a horde of Aryan defenders to accompany him, but the Syrian midfielder produced a moment of magic with an outstanding turn which totally bamboozled the opposition defenders. His turn was followed by a calm finish as he handed East Bengal a handsome 3-0 lead.
With this victory East Bengal leapfrog arch-rivals Mohun Bagan to the top of the table on goal-difference.
Published: Sat Aug 18, 2018 08:51 PM IST