East Bengal Secure Crucial Comeback Victory Over Kerala Blasters 4-2

East Bengal FC snatched a dramatic 4-2 victory against Kerala Blasters FC at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi on April 3rd, 2024, reigniting their Indian Super League (ISL) playoff hopes. With this crucial win, East Bengal, on 24 points from 20 matches, moved back into contention for a top-six finish.

With everything to play for, the boys approached the game like a final, looking to grab the initiative from the get go making several inroads into the opposition half in the early exchanges. However, a defensive lapse in the 24th minute proved costly. Fedor Cernych capitalized on the error, putting the Blasters ahead. Unfettered by the momentary lapse, the boys continued to press for the equalizer and their persistence paid off just before halftime.

In the 45th minute, opposition midfielder Jeakson Singh was given his marching orders for his 2nd yellow and soon after in injury time a foul in the box by custodian Karanjit gave us a chance to get back into the game. Saul Crespo stepped up calmly and converted the spot-kick, giving East Bengal the much needed lift heading into the break.

The second period witnessed a more controlled performance from East Bengal making the most of the one man advantage. The boys managed the tempo effectively, frustrating the Blasters and searching for their chance to grab the lead.

Their strategy paid off in the 71st minute when sub Aman pressured Leskovic into surrendering the ball and squared it off calmly to Crespo who finished past Karanjit for his second of the night. Shortly after Naocha Singh was sent off for lashing out at Aman reducing the opposition to 9 men with 15 minutes to play.

Naorem Mahesh Singh, doubled East Bengal’s lead in the 83rd minute when his shot took a deflection off Daisuke on it’s way into the net. The Blasters immediately got one back via an own goal but Mahesh wasn’t done yet. He added another in the 87th minute, finishing off a flowing counter-attack to put the game beyond doubt.

Speaking on the sidelines after the match, East Bengal’s Assistant Coach Dimas Delgado said that the team is approaching these final games like a knockout final and it showed today that the boys wanted the result more than the opposition.

East Bengal next face Bengaluru FC at home before taking the trip to Delhi to face Punjab FC to round up the ISL campaign.

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