Spirited Fightback Falls Short: East Bengal suffer 2-3 loss in Guwahati

East Bengal FC’s valiant comeback attempt fell short as they succumbed to a narrow 3-2 defeat against NorthEast United FC in a pulsating Indian Super League encounter at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.

The Red and Gold Brigade went into the game missing key midfield personnel in Saul and Souvik and Coach Cuadrat had to deploy Pardo alongside Ajay in midfield.

The home side came out with all guns blazing, with Spanish forward Nestor Albiach spearheading their attack, setting up the opening goal for Tomi Juric in the 4th minute before adding his own name to the scoresheet eleven minutes later.

Despite conceding two early goals, the boys rallied together to mount a fight back.

The Red and Gold Brigade emerged from the break with renewed purpose, and their efforts were rewarded in the 53rd minute when Cleiton Silva’s delightful through ball found Nandha Kumar Sekar, who pulled one back for the visitors.

However, shortly after, Juric unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box in the 66th minute, beating Prabhsukhan Singh Gill to restore the two-goal cushion for the hosts.

East Bengal continued to press for an equalizer, and their persistence paid off in the dying moments of the game when Felicio Brown Forbes headed home a rebound.

But time ran out on the visitors as NorthEast United held on for a hard-fought victory.

While the result will undoubtedly be a source of disappointment for East Bengal, they can take heart from their spirited comeback effort.

The Red and Gold Brigade displayed commendable resilience after conceding early goals, and their never-say-die attitude kept them in the game until the very end.

Looking back at the game, Coach Cuadrat was pleased with the fightback from the boys but regretted the start which made things difficult on the night.

“When you concede two goals as you are starting the match, you know that you are going to have a lot of difficulties.

My message to the players at half-time was that if we score one goal, we will win the game. We had a good reaction.

The players were trying their best with some changes in the tactics and to go for (winning) the game,” Cuadrat said in the post-match press conference.

“But at 1-3, that was the turning point. With 2-0 in 15 minutes, it was a disaster at the start of the game but we had time.

And I was sure we were going to score and put them in the box. But for me the turning point was the third goal (by NorthEast United FC),” he added.

The Red and Gold Brigade will now host defending champions Mumbai CIty FC at home on Tuesday, looking to mount a late charge into a playoff spot.