Spirited SC East Bengal hold Hyderabad FC to 1-1 draw

Hyderabad FC and SC East Bengal played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Thursday.

The first half turned out to be a cracking contest, as both teams scored their goals in the first 45 minutes. Amir Dervisevic (20’) put SC East Bengal FC in front before Bartholomew Ogbeche (35’) equalised for Hyderabad FC to force a share of spoils.

Hyderabad FC started on the front foot and had a great chance to take the lead in the 10th minute when Joel Chianese found an opening near the goal post but his effort was saved by SC East Bengal goalkeeper. 

SC East Bengal defended astutely in the opening minutes, as they have conceded the most number of goals in the first half this season. But as the match progressed on, the Red and Gold brigade started attacking. In the 19th  Lalrinliana Hnamte got fouled by Chinglesana right at the edge of the HFC box, which resulted in a free-kick. Dervisevic took the set-piece and made no mistake, and converted the free-kick into a goal in the 20th minute.

Just nine minutes after the first goal, SC East Bengal had an opportunity to double their lead as the Nigerian forward Daniel Chukwu latched on to the ball inside the Hyderabad box, and got one-on-one with the keeper, but failed to finish it as the shot went off target.

Hyderabad FC kept on attacking the SCEB box after conceding the goal. The equalizer came from golden boot contender Ogbeche in the 36th minute of the match. A splendid cross from Aniket Jadhav from the left flank was headed home by Ogbeche to level the scores.

In the 41st minute, SCEB came close to a goal when Mohammad Rafique hit the angle of the goal with a long-range effort. Both teams went into half-time with a 1-1 scoreline.

Coach Manuel Marquez brought Sahil Tavora in place of Rohit Danu as the second half kicked off.  HFC’s Chianese played a long ball for Edu Garcia in the 53rd minute, but his shot went just past the post. It was Hyderabad FC who kept on asking questions in the early minutes of the second half.

In the 64th minute, Manual Diaz made two substitutions bringing on Thongkhosiem Haokip and Balwant Singh in place of Amarjit Kiyam and Daniel Chukwu.

Both teams had chances to take the lead,  but it was HFC came the closest late in the match as a long-range effort by substitute Tavora took Arindam Bhattacharya by surprise but he parried it away before the SC East Bengal defender cleared the danger.

There was no winner after what was a pulsating encounter that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Despite this draw, SC East Bengal remained winless in the tournament and sit at the bottom of the table, while Hyderabad FC moved to the second spot.

Hyderabad FC will be up against Odisha FC on Tuesday in their next match, whereas SC East Bengal's next fixture is against Bengaluru FC on January 4, 2022.

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