Spirited East Bengal fall short in Bhubaneshwar

East Bengal FC faced a tough setback in their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign on Thursday, falling short against Odisha FC 2-1 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Despite taking an early lead in the first minute and fighting tooth and nail with the league leaders for most of the game, the Red and Gold Brigade could not get the points away from home.

With fatigue setting in following a series of packed fixtures, the East Bengal think tank were forced into making several changes in the first XI.

The match began brightly for East Bengal FC, with Vishnu scoring his maiden ISL goal in the very first minute.

However, the home side continued to press at every opportunity making the boys work overtime in defence.

The hosts earned a penalty in the 38th minute, which Diego Mauricio converted from the spot to ensure the score was tied 1-1 heading into the break.

Whilst Odisha maintained the bulk of the possession in the 2nd half, East Bengal remained a constant threat on the break.

However, in the 61st minute, Princeton just about got his foot on a low ball from the corner and gave the hosts a crucial lead going into the final 30 minutes of the game.

Despite attempting to find an equalizer, the boys could not find the net for the remainder of the game. With this loss, the boys face an uphill task in the race for a playoff spot as the league approaches its closing stages.

Speaking to the media after the game, Coach Bino George acknowledged that his players should rectify their errors in their upcoming matches as the margin for error is minimal in this critical phase of the league.

“We are in a process, and we are trying to learn from our mistakes. Vishnu PV and VP Suhair started the game from the beginning. Vishnu PV also scored the goal, which will give him confidence (going forward),” George added.

The boys will next face FC Goa at the Fatorda stadium for a chance at reversing their fortunes on Wednesday.