SC East Bengal remain winless after 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC

SC East Bengal stretched their winless run to 13 matches as they played out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Athletic stadium on Tuesday.

Thongkhosiem Haokip (28’) put the Red and Gold brigade the lead in the first half but an unfortunate own goal from Sourav Das (55’) helped the Blues draw level.

The game got off to a quiet start and it was Bengaluru FC who created the first opening when they had three attackers in advanced positions against just one SC East Bengal defender but Ashqiue Kuruniyan’s heavy touch meant the chance was gone in the 20th minute.

However, at the other end, SC East Bengal took their chance as Haokip headed home a pinpoint free-kick from Wahengbam Luwang to put his team in front in the 28th minute.

The Blues wasted another chance to get on the scoresheet in the 37th minute when Alan Costa rose highest to meet a Cleiton Silva free-kick but he failed to keep his shot on target from close range.

The Blues again came close on the stroke of half time when Parag Srivas’ cross found Prince Ibara whose back flick was blocked.

SC East Bengal held their advantage going into the break and that forced Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli to bring on Sunil Chhetri and Pratik Chowdhury for Rane and Srivas.

The changes boosted the Blues who dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and got the reward for it in the 55th minute when Sourav Das headed into his own net.

The Blues had their tails up after the equaliser and Ibara missed a chance to put his team in front when he headed over from close range in the 66th minute.

Six minutes later, Chhetri should have put Bengaluru FC in front when he received a cutback at the heart of the box but his shot was blocked on the line. The Indian captain should have done better considering he was completely unchallenged inside the box.

SC East Bengal then had a golden chance to snatch it when a lobbed pass found Haokip completely free inside the penalty area but he was caught in two minds about taking a touch or shooting first time and ended up doing neither as the chance went begging in the 81st minute.

The Blues continued to push for the winner and had a few half chances that fell to Ibara but there was no killer finish.

Eventually both teams settled for a share of spoils that saw the Blues jump to eighth place as winless SC East Bengal stayed bottom.

The Red and Gold brigade return to action on Friday when they face Mumbai City FC while Blues also face the Islanders in their next match on Monday.

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