East Bengal snapped their winless run against NorthEast United in the Indian Super League (ISL) with a comfortable 3-1 victory at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. A first-half goal from Cleiton Silva (11th minute) and second-half strikes from Charis Kyriakou (53rd) and Jordan O’Doherty (84th) ensured the three points for East Bengal, before Matt Doherty’s consolation goal (90+2) opened NorthEast United’s goal account for the season. It took a while for the two teams to find their rhythm with the game’s first real chance coming in the 10th minute when Cleiton Silva smashed a volley from range at NorthEast United FC’s goal, but Silva didn’t have to wait long to get his goal.
East Bengal took the lead a minute later after some diligent work from Mahesh Naorem Singh. NorthEast United’s Mohamed Irshad got caught on the ball during the team’s build-up, which gave Noarem an opportunity to pinch it from the full-back before laying it to the open Silva, who made no mistake with his finish.
NorthEast United had most of the possession in the first-half but struggled to create any real chances.
It looked like the Highlanders were going to end the half without any shots on target but a speculative effort from Emil Benny in the 45th minute led to a rebound that Matt Derbyshire should have finished. That was the best chance of the game at that point in time, but Derbyshire’s effort didn’t find the target, rattling the bar instead.
East Bengal went 2-0 up eight minutes into the second half thanks to some good work from Suhair Vadakkepeedika on the right wing, who set up an onrushing Charis Kyriakou for a bending strike from the edge of the box.
Suhair had been causing NorthEast United problems prior to the goal, getting close to scoring twice himself. It looked like he had set up Thongkhosiem Haokip four minutes later with a driven cross from the right. Haokip backheeled but the goal was ruled offside. East Bengal were fairly dominant in the early parts of the second half.
To shake things up, Balbul looked to his bench. Imran Khan, who was subbed in for Gurjinder Kumar in the 63rd minute, had a decent volleyed effort a minute after coming on.
Sylvester Igboun came on for Michael Jakobsen in the 71st minute, who had an even greater effect on the team.
NorthEast United pushed more players forward, but the risk didn’t pay off in the end. East Bengal killed the game in 84th minute thanks to a quick transition, with Mobashir Rahman setting up Jordan O’Doherty, who finished the chance with aplomb.
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