Sahara Calcutta Football League: Chirag end East Bengal’s winning run

Kolkata, Nov 21, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) East Bengal for the first time conceded points in the Sahara Calcutta Football League when they blew up a lead and were held 1-1 draw by Chirag United at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.

Australian national Tolgay Ozbay’s header from Orji Penn’s floater in the 8th minute put East Bengal in the lead. This was Tolgay’s eighth goal when Penn hoodwinked three defenders to send a left flank floater over goalkeeper Swarup Das to the waiting striker at far post to finish the job.

But Chirag United captain Arnab Mondal levelled score by a curler on 18th minute  from a corner of Munna Mallick to end the red and gold’s winning streak on the 13th game.

East Bengal still hold pole position with 37 points from 13 plays, against holders Mohun Bagan’s 34, as both have to play three more games, including against each other, to finish the fixture for premier division encounters. East Bengal last won the CFL in 2006.

CU, the last year runners up and virtually out of reckoning in league contest, rallied brilliantly to restore the game and remained undefeated to the big clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. They also drew 1-1 against Bagan.

CU had prevailed over East Bengal in Durand Cup in Delhi by a Mohammed Rafique goal to end the latter winning streak on the 18th game of the season in any competition and on Sunday also ended their consecutive wins in the CFL on the 13th game.

After 1-1 in the first half, Subrata Bhattacharya coached CU had domination in the second session. But another goal was elusive for them as Junior Eliza, a new recruit from Sporting Clube de Goa and Joshimar could not make much headway to beat Jayanta Paul.

East Bengal were unlucky not to get a goal for another lead when Tolgay’s right footer hit the side post in the 80th minute and captain Soumik Dey’s header was cleared by Narugopal from goal line at the end.

Coach Trevor James Morgan reshuffled his side in the second half but the players, who held the ball for most, could not break the wall, thanks to skipper Arnab and his two defenders Munna Mallick and Subash Chakraborty who displayed outstanding courage and endurance to prevent attacks.

CU are on 21 points from 12 matches.

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