East Bengal FC go down 0-2 to Chennaiyin FC

Despite creating a few chances, East Bengal FC ended up losing their away fixture against Chennaiyin FC 0-2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday (February 12).

Lalchungnunga’s own goal (48’) and Rahim Ali’s 87 th minute strike took the Marina Machans to 21 points from 18 games, 5 points ahead of their Kolkata counterparts.

EBFC Head Coach Stephen Constantine made four changes to the playing XI as Sarthak Golui, Jordan O’Doherty, Mobashir Rahman and V.P. Suhair replaced Mohamad Rakip, Alex Lima, Souvik Chakrabarti and Sumeet Passi.

Chennaiyin FC exerted their dominance from the outset. As early as in the third minute, Fallou Diagne struck a volley off Akash Sangwan’s corner that beat the EBFC defenders and their custodian Kamaljit Singh before coming off the crossbar.

EBFC had their first attempt In the 31 st minute. Cleiton Silva, Jake Jervis, Naorem Mahesh Singh and V.P. Suhair were involved in a beautiful passage of play that involved slick one-touch passes. However, Suhair headed the ball wide of the post as the visitors squandered the opportunity of breaking the deadlock.

Five minutes later, Jake Jervis’ left-footed shot from close range went slightly wide of the far post, denying his side another chance. The half-time score read 0-0.

Chennaiyin FC managed to get ahead in the 48 th minute, via Lalchungnunga’s unfortunate own-goal. Julius Duker’s quick free-kick was received by Anirudh Thapa on the left flank, whose shot was unwittingly slotted into the back of the net by Lalchungnunga, who was under severe pressure due to the presence of Kwame Karikari.

Chennaiyin FC doubled their lead in the 87 th minute via Rahim Ali, who pounced on an assist from Vincy Barretto and slotted it home to seal the three points for his side.

Both teams are out of the playoff race. EBFC will next take on this season’s League Shield Winners Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on February 19, Sunday.