SC East Bengal beat Odisha to pick up first win of the season
SC East Bengal registered their first-ever win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 3-1 victory over Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Sunday. Anthony Pilkington netted his side’s opener in the 12th minute and Jacques Maghoma doubled their advantage six minutes before the break. Super-sub Bright Enobakhare scored the Kolkata club’s third two minutes before the end of normal time. Odisha did pull one back after a goal-mouth scramble late in the game led to an own goal by Daniel Fox, who couldn’t quite sort his feet out in time to avert the danger.
- Goals from Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma gave SC East Bengal a 2-0 lead by halftime.
- Bright Enobakhare made it 3-0 for SC East Bengal in the 88th minute.
- A Daniel Fox own goal brought the lead down to 3-1. It was the 100th goal of the season.
After an even opening to the contest, SC East Bengal went ahead in the 12th minute through Pilkington. The Irishman rose highest at the back post to head home a long Raju Gaikwad throw into the box and give his side a 1-0 lead.
Odisha nearly hit back five minutes later when Manuel Onwu forced Debjit Majumder into making a save after heading a cross from the left on target. Diego Mauricio then tested Debjit with a header from a corner in the 19th minute but once again the SC East Bengal goalkeeper was up to the task. Mauricio had another go at goal in the 23rd minute when his shot from outside the box went just wide of the target.
It was an end-to-end game and SC East Bengal came close to extending their lead just before the half hour mark when Pilkington cut into the box from the left flank and fired a shot away with his right foot that took deflection on its way to the post.
SC East eventually doubled their lead in the 39th minute courtesy of a goal from Maghoma. The Congolese attacker collected the ball near the left and made a surging run into the box with it before striking a thunderous shot that hit the woodwork on its way in.
Odisha did have a chance to pull one back before halftime through a quick counter. However, Mauricio’s shot from near the edge of box was wayward and failed to test Debjit in goal as SC East Bengal took a 2-0 lead into the break.
The Bhubaneswar-based club had a couple of chances to halve the deficit early in the second half. The first shot by Mauricio from inside the box was deflected behind for a corner and the resulting corner saw Jacob Tratt’s header go straight into the hands of Debjit.
Odisha were the more enterprising side early in the second period and were creating chances at will. After Shubham Sarangi’s near post effort from the right was saved by Debjit in the 55th minute, the woodwork came to SC East Bengal’s rescue two minutes later when Onwu looked to guide a Jerry Mawihmingthanga cross from the left at goal.
Tratt was the next Odisha player to be denied by the frame of the goal just after the hour mark when the Australian’s header from a set-piece struck the woodwork. Odisha continued to push hard in search of a goal that would give them some hope of a comeback, but SC East Bengal took the sting out of the contest by keeping possession.
Odisha, to their credit, kept on attacking till the final whistle, however, the Kolkata club put the game to bed through substitute Bright Enobakhare. After seeing his first shot saved excellently by the goalkeeper, the substitute made no mistake at the second time of asking when Surchandra Singh passed the ball from the left for him to produce a composed finish.
Odisha did pull one back after a goal-mouth scramble late in the game ended in a Daniel Fox own goal. However, it counted for little in the end as SC East Bengal secured maximum points.
Hero of the Match – Anthony Pilkington
Anthony Pilkington showed his class against Odisha by being a constant threat throughout the game. He scored his side’s opener and could have had more had it not been for the frame of the goal. The Irishman also created one chance and was a menace to Odisha’s defence.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – SC East Bengal
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Surchandra Singh (SC East Bengal)
Watch the Match Highlights here: