The title hopes for Kingfisher East Bengal came to an agonising end as they fell to a 2-1 home loss to Pune FC. Kingfisher East Bengal forward Dudu Omagbemi opened the scoring, only for Ishfaq Ahmed and Thongkhosiem Haokip to get on the scoresheet to give Pune FC the win. The loss sees Kingfisher East Bengal relinquish their title chances.
Kingfisher East Bengal begin brightly
The opening exchanges saw the home side dominate possession as well as the chances. Dudu Omagbemi played the role of chief orchestrator on the right wing. The Nigerian forward, playing in his adopted position by Eelco Schattoire was the key in the opening minutes. Dynamic midfielder and recently capped by the Indian national side, Cavin Lobo succeeded in making inroads for the home side.
I League top scorer Ranti Martins failed to add to his 16 goals this season as he missed a sitter, two yards in front of Amrinder Singh’s goal. Edgar Marcelino was withdrawn late in the first half courtesy of an untimely injury to his right knee. He was replaced by Ishfaq.
Dudu opens the scoring; Ishfaq Ahmed equalizes immediately
Dudu Omagbemi (42′) was the first Kingfisher East Bengal player to put the ball past Amrinder Singh as the home side went ahead. A crisp strike from the 29 year old Nigerian saw the ball rocket past Amrinder. However, substitute Ishfaq Ahmed had other ideas. Barely a minute after Dudu’s goal, a header from Ishfaq Ahmed ensured that the Red Lizards entered the second half with the score 1-1.
Kingfisher East Bengal rue missed chances; Cavin Lobo dazzles
The green and gold brigade began the second half the same way the did the first one. Cavin Lobo was at his menacing best as he left the Pune defence in shambles. His strike from 35 yards slammed the post, as the Pune personnel found no answer to the Goan winger.
Haokip puts Pune ahead; Kingfisher East Bengal fail to find a way back
With 64 minutes played, Thongkhosiem Haokip put the Red Lizards ahead. A cross from Arata Izumi saw a miscue from Thongkhosiem Haokip creep into the goal, thus giving Pune FC the lead.
In spite of creating chances, Dudu Omagbemi and Cavin Lobo failed to put Kingfisher East Bengal back on level terms. Ranti Martins made fewer than 10 touches in the second half. Thus, Pune FC secured all three points with a 2-1 win.
The loss sees Kingfisher East Bengal with absolutely no chance of challenging for the title. Eelco Schattoire will have his hands full as he attempts to rebuild the squad he inherited from Armando Colaco.