NEW DELHI: When someone brings about a change, out of his own choice, it could have a positive impact on the mind and body. But, if the change is made forcibly, it could possibly have a negative effect. And, that’s what happened to the young Indian Arrows team, which simply floundered against the collective superiority of the Kolkata giants, East Bengal, to lose their third home game of the I-league 2-0 at the Ambedkar stadium on Tuesday.
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Having lost their first-choice goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, and the midas touch of their midfield duo – Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Jeakson Singh – the essence of Arrows just evaporated amidst the continued onslaught of the East Bengal players. Syria’s Mahmoud Al-Amna and Japan’s Katsumi Yusa scored in the 13th and 16th minutes, respectively, and from there on Arrows were not in the game.
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The early goals created confusion in the minds of Arrows players, who struggled to string together passes and create goal-scoring chances. The teenagers were overpowered by the collective height and might of tall East Bengal strikers and defenders. Defender Anwar Ali looked like the only one in control of his game, while the unit as a whole looked completely unsettled. The difference in class and quality between the two outfits was for everyone to see.
The match started on an attacking note, with the table-toppers East Bengal playing in the Arrows’ half for almost the whole duration of the first half. The visitors pressed for an early advantage and were rewarded suitably as they encashed on Arrows’ new goalkeeping recruit, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill’s lapses in concentration. Al-Amna slotted the ball home from the near post (13th minute) after Abhishek Halder‘s foul on Katsumi led to the referee giving East Bengal a free-kick.
Three minutes later, Katsumi beautifully curled in a right footer from inside the box to double the East Bengal’s lead. He even taunted the Arrows dugout while still celebrating his strike. The ‘Red and Gold’ brigade kept attacking the Arrows goalpost. The speed and ferocity of their attack saw quite a few Arrows players taking a tumbling.
In the 24th minute, Arrows defenders thwarted a potent attack when Katsumi and Al-Amna combined well, but goalie Gill was up for the challenge. In the 36th minute, another chance went begging when Jobby Justin‘s shot ended up hitting the side-netting.
After the breather, with East Bengal enjoying a 2-0 cushion, the onus was on Arrows to fight back. They did turn up as a better side in the second half. They created two goal-scoring chances, first in the 50th minute when Edmund Lalrindika made a fine run from the left flank dodging past two East Bengal players, but lost control of the ball. And later, in the 57th minute, when Sanjeev Stalin’s corner kick was headed by Ali only for Abhijit Sarkar to try a back-heel kick which was safely pouched by the opponent custodian, Luis Xavier Barreto.
Arrows slumped to their fourth defeat in the tournament.
Source : timesofindia