East Bengal FC share spoils with NorthEast United FC

In a 6-goal contest that witnessed several ebbs and flows, East Bengal FC rode goals from Cleiton Silva (2) and Jake Jervis to eke out a 3-3 draw with NorthEast United FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Wednesday (February 8) evening. It was their first draw and NEUFC’s first away point this season.

Playing their penultimate home fixture of the current Hero ISL season, EBFC went into the game with 4 changes in the starting XI as Sarthak Golui, Ankit Mukherjee, Mobashir Rahman and VP Suhair made way for Lalchungnunga, Md Rakip, Souvik Chakrabarti and Sumeet Passi.

The home side broke the deadlock as early as in the 10 th minute when Jerry Lalrinzuala’s cross from the left flank found Cleiton Silva, who got ahead of Mashoor Shereef and headed the goal at the near post.

In the 22 nd minute, Naorem Mahesh Singh battled down the left flank and took a shot that almost found the back of the net. However, the shot was denied by NEUFC custodian Arindam Bhattacharya as he collected the ball safely.

The opposition netted two goals in a span of two minutes and had the lead for about fifteen minutes in the game. Around the half-hour mark, NEUFC found the equalizer as Parthib Gogoi smashed the ball into the top-right corner. Three minutes later, Jithin MS received Romain Philippoteaux’s through ball and scored NEUFC’s second goal against the run of play.

In the first-half stoppage time, EBFC’s latest foreign recruit Jake Jervis scored the equalizer with a breathtaking overhead kick off Rakip’s long throw-in that bounced just in of him inside the box.

In the 61 st minute of the game, Cleiton Silva scored his second goal of the evening via a penalty after he was deemed to have been fouled by Alex Saji. It was his 12 th goal in this Hero ISL season and he is now the leading goal-scorer in the tournament.

In the 85th minute, the Highlanders got the equalizer again, this time through substitute Imran Khan, who scored off Gani Nigam’s cross from the right flank.

The result made no difference to the points table. EBFC continue to occupy the ninth spot with 16 points from 17 games (5 wins, 1 draw and 11 defeats), while NEUFC remain rooted to the bottom with 5 points from 18 games (1 win, 2 draws and 15 defeats).

The Red & Golds will next take on Chennaiyin FC in an away clash at Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on February 12 (Sunday).