BOTH TEAMS HAD ALREADY QUALIFIED so it was expected to be a game that would be not have much action but it was not to be. It was one side for the most part. The shorter summary of the game was misses and determined defending. To know about the more in-depth about this goalless but totally exciting game, read on.
Aizawl had rested their key players but even their second choice team created enough resistance for Eat Bengal to score even a single goal in the game. In the 15th minute, Aizawl turned defending a corner into a counter. Important interception broke the attack down. Around the 20th minute, William bursts into speed to create space and enters the box. His cross is blocked and a corner earned for Aizawl.
Floated ball by Borges to pick out Rafique in the box was a bit overhit. East Bengal had almost an embarrassing moment when Bheke headed the ball back to his keeper under no pressure and Subhaashis missed and Bheke has to recover quickly. Arnab Mondal was flirting with danger as he delayed clearance inside the box and Puia quickly stole it from him and sent in a cross but thankfully for East Bengal it fell to an EB player.
Rafique had made a great run to enter the box from the right wing. He passes to Jairu, who was yards from goal. Just needed to shoot but couldn’t get the ball from under his leg. Arnab landed rather awkwardly. He needed to be treated 5 minutes before time.
Lobo with a wall pass just outside the box with Plaza. He gets blocked before he could gain control of the ball. Just before the final minute of the first half, Narayan Das sent in a cross from the left wing. Multiple players waiting and he finds nobody but the byline.
IN the second half East Bengal again began the better of the two teams. Borges started the move from his own half, played to Wedson and he flicks it to Rafique who was in space to shoots but was very well tied down by the AFC defender.
Some expert defending saw threats by East Bengal thwarted well by the backline of Aizawl. Attack after attack had Aizawl blocking most of the shots and staying on the backfoot for the first 15 minutes of the second period. Lobo’s free kick was flicked toward goal and the keeper had to make a good save.
Superb counter attack saw Jairu and Plaza forward. Jairu had the ball, two defenders and Plaza were ahead of him. Jairu headed along the left. Plaza kept his distance behind the defenders. Jairu plays the most perfect ball in Plaza’s as he sneaks behind the defender then in front of him. He needed to tap it in the far post, places the ball but it runs past the far post inches wide.
Another cross came in the box from the right wing of East Bengal. Jairu manage to keep it in at the far end by no AFC players to follow up.
Aizawl made a couple of rare attacks late towards the last quarter of the game. Back to back attacks had almost a 3v3 situation, mostly with Aizawl having upper hand were wasted by Aizawl.
Great save by AFC keeper to deny Jairu’s powerful effort. Aizawl, who spent most of the game defending, did get their chances to score but tired legs could not find the finishing touch.
Plaza was played a great ball by Robin in the box. He was in space, had Jairu in a better position to score and open. Plaza goes for the first time shot, misses to connect and the ball rolls past the post.
The last minutes were about Aizawl defending to their potential and denied East Bengal from angles and attempts. Aizawl finish top of the group and East Bengal second.
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