BAMBOLIM (GOA), Dec 5 (IANS): NorthEast United beat East Bengal 2-0 in an Indian Super League (ISL) match here at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Saturday. This was NorthEast United's second win in four matches while Now, East Bengal have lost all three matches they have played so far. Interestingly, East Bengal made more shots and had more possession and yet a self goal from Surchandra Singh and a late strike from Rochharzela helped NorthEast to victory. NorthEast have not lost a match so far.
East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler cut an exasperated figure at the end of the match as his team were denied a few clear-cut chances to win a penalty. The first chance came in the 20th minute when forward Jacques Maghoma went down to Ashutosh Mehta and the replays showed that the NorthEast player had clearly made contact. To add salt to the wound, NorthEast scored just over 10 minutes later. Idrissa Sylla sent the ball to Kwesi Appiah on the right wing after Ninthoinganba Meetei retrieved possession inside the NorthEast half. Appiah put the cross in and it ricocheted off Surchendra and rolled into the goal, past the wrongfooted Debjit Majumder.
East Bengal had a flurry of chances for the rest of the half, including consecutive corners just before the referee blew the whistle, but could not find the back of the net.
It was more frustration for Fowler's men in the second half. Forward Anthony Pilkington's shot in the 61st minute hit the arm of a NorthEast defender but the referee did not point to the spot for that. NorthEast themselves had a penalty decision going against them 12 minutes later when Meetei went down in the box after a brilliant solo run with East Bengal defender Sehnaj Singh all over him.
East Bengal committed more numbers forward which meant that they were susceptible to a counter attack and it was such a situation that led to them conceding in the 91st minute. VP Suhair, who had come on for Sylla in the 79th minute, charged forward as soon as the ball came to him and put in an inch-perfect low cross for Rochharzela to burry in the back of the net with ease.
While East Bengal remain rooted to the bottom of the table with no points, NorthEast replaced Mumbai City, who have an extra game in hand, in second place with eight points in four matches.