East Bengal edge Sreenidi Deccan to go top of Group A

The electrifying atmosphere of the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar witnessed East Bengal FC edge past Sreenidi Deccan FC 2-1 in a pulsating encounter on Sunday.

This hard-fought victory not only propelled the Red and Gold Brigade to the top of Group A in the Kalinga Super Cup but also set the stage for a mouthwatering Kolkata Derby showdown against Mohun Bagan in the final group fixture on Saturday.

Early optimism for East Bengal materialised in the 4th minute when a free-kick on the left flank delivered by Nishu Kumar was met with a precise header from Hijazi Maher, guiding the ball into the far corner of the net.

The jubilant cheers of the East Bengal faithful echoed through the stadium as the boys took the lead.

Riding the momentum, the Red and Gold Brigade continued to press, searching for a second goal.

Their persistence paid off in the 31st minute when Javier Siverio received a delightful pass from Cleiton, expertly controlling it before unleashing a powerful shot that beat the outstretched Sreenidi Deccan goalkeeper, doubling East Bengal’s advantage.

Post halftime, the opposition emerged with renewed purpose, pressing higher and testing the East Bengal defence, which managed to soak in the pressure and preserve the lead.

However, a 78th minute William Alves penalty brought Sreenidi back into the contest.

The final 12 minutes were a tense affair, with both teams desperate for the win.

East Bengal held firm defensively, thwarting Sreenidi Deccan’s final attacks and securing the vital three points.

Hijazi Maher was undoubtedly the player of the match for his goal contribution early on and resolute defending at the back.

With this victory, East Bengal sits atop Group A, level on points with Mohun Bagan, but ahead on goal difference.

The highly anticipated Kolkata Derby on January 19th now promises to be a battle for group supremacy, ensuring a thrilling finale to the group stage.

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