Controversial Late Goal Denies East Bengal Crucial Victory in Jamshedpur

East Bengal FC (EBFC) were left heartbroken after conceding a heartbreaking late goal in a 2-1 defeat to Jamshedpur FC (JFC) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Thursday.

Despite aiming to build on their first win in six matches last week, the Red and Gold Brigade were unable to hold on to their first-half lead, conceding a late goal from a debatable free kick.

The opening 15 minutes belonged to the hosts as Jeremy Manzorro and Imran Khan threatened with efforts from close range, but Prabhsukhan Singh Gill stood firm in the EBFC goal. Looking for a break in the other end, the boys found the breakthrough just before half-time.

Nandhakumar Sekar’s link-up play with captain Cleiton Silva caught the JFC defense off guard. Cleiton’s deflected shot fell kindly for Nandhakumar, who slotted it past TP Rehenesh to send the travelling supporters into a frenzy.

The second half saw Jamshedpur press for an equaliser, and in the 80th minute, Nikhil Barla’s cross from the right found the head of Rei Tachikawa, who rose highest to level the score.

As the clock ticked down and a draw seemed increasingly likely, a controversial moment unfolded in stoppage time. Mohammad Rakip’s challenge on Daniel Chima Chukwu awarded JFC a free-kick in a dangerous position, a call which looked harsh on replays.

Jeremy Manzorro stepped up and sent a curling effort towards goal, which took a slight deflection off Cleiton, wrong-footing Prabhsukhan and securing a dramatic last-gasp win for the hosts.

“There are still seven games to play. We have played fewer games than other teams so it makes it look like we have a lot to do. We have to be competitive. It’s a league where any team can beat any team,” said Coach Cuadrat after the match.

With a set of crunch fixtures coming up the Red and Gold Brigade will look to go on a run of good results as they host Chennaiyin FC at home on Monday.