Talking Point: Can SC East Bengal continue to improve against the attacking Gaurs?

SC East Bengal will be eager to kick on and register successive wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they take on FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Wednesday. The Kolkata club won their first-ever Hero ISL match in their last outing but will have their task cut out against a confident Goa side that will head into the encounter on the back of consecutive wins. Here, we take a closer look at some of the factors that may well decide the outcome of the contest.

SC East Bengal’s improving attack

The steady improvement in SC East Bengal’s attack in their last four matches has been encouraging for fans. After failing to find the back of the net in their first four games, the Kolkata club have scored eight times in their last four matches. Crucial to their betterment in front of goal has been the improvement in their shot accuracy that’s risen in their last four games to 45.95% from 21.43%. Four out of their eight goals have come from set-pieces and Robbie Fowler is certain to target such situations against a Goa side that has conceded seven times in similar situations so far.

Resilient Gaurs

Goa’s last match saw them complete a splendid late comeback to beat Hyderabad FC. They went behind before winning 2-1 and it was the seventh time this season that Goa had conceded the first goal in a match. They previously rescued a point against Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC and won against Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC through late goals. A resilient unit, the Gaurs’ ability to step up once behind is highlighted by the fact that they’ve netted eight of their 12 goals in the second half. The fact that SC East Bengal have conceded 11 times in the second half bodes well for Goa.

Maghoma and Bright could be the difference makers

Key to SC East Bengal’s improvement in front of goal has been the form of their foreign recruits. While Anthony Pilkington scored his first goal of the season in the club’s last outing, Jacques Maghoma has been instrumental to their cause in attack. The Congolese attacker is SC East Bengal’s top-scorer at the moment with three goals and one wouldn’t put it past him to be on the scoresheet against Goa. He along with new signing Bright Enobakhare, who scored after being on the pitch for just 17 minutes in the Kolkata club’s last game, will be their biggest threats in front of goal. Bright hit the target with both his shots on goal against Odisha FC and it will be interesting to see how the Nigerian fares if he’s in the starting line-up.

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