THE CONFIDENCE was high in the Indian Arrows side after the draw against Mohun Bagan. East Bengal too had come in with a draw against NEROCA.
Arrows were without first choice keeper Dheeraj Singh, who left the team being hopeful of a foreign experience.
Amna was a constant threat from left flank and Yusa down the middle. Both attracted a lot of fouls and one such earned a free kick that was the source for East Bengal's early goal. A free kick to the left side of the box saw Al Amna stand behind the ball. The experience Syrian picked a spot at the near post and sent the ball with power past a helpless Prabhsukhan who was more towards the other post. Thirteen minutes on the clock East Bengal were up by a goal.
In the last game against Mohun Bagan, Arrows were down and replied back with the equaliser shortly. But East Bengal, well aware of the comeback ability of the Arrows, struck again. Yusa was found unmarked inside the box. The Japanese could not be closed down quickly and he curled to the ball to find the top right hand corner of the goal. Two goals in a short time put immense pressure on the Arrows. East Bengal kept coming back at the home team after the goals not allowing them space to get past their players, often having more than one player to close down the Arrows. At half time, the home team had not managed a single shot on target.
There was a glimmer of fight by the Arrows when they started the second half. Edmund and Jadhav were in the box and just as Jadhav was about to shoot, Armand made a crucial clearance. Around the hour mark, Prabhsukhan made an important save after Ralte met Yusa's cross with a header. With continued pressing by East Bengal, the Arrows defence could not help but kept on clearing the ball in a hurry and allowed East Bengal to come back at them again. A scramble in the box saw Arrows' multiple shots being blocked. It was not going a to be an eventful game for the AIFF developmental side as they went down easily to a mighty East Bengal team.