Bengaluru FC and SC East Bengal finished level in the 49th match of this season of the Indian Super League. Renedy Singh and his boys were able to successfully prevent Bengaluru FC from getting all three points. Semboi Haokip gave the lead to SC East Bengal in the 28th minute and Sourav Das' own goal in the 55th minute made the game level.
With this draw, Bengaluru FC are now at eighth with 10 points from 10 games. On the other hand, SC East Bengal are last in the table with 5 points from 9 matches.
Here are the talking points from the encounter
9 Indians on the Field for SCEB
SC East Bengal started the game with nine Indian players and just two foreigners. Renedy Singh had only three foreign players in the squad. Australian center back Tomislav Mrčela and Nigerian striker Daniel Chima Chukwu were the only two foreigners that made it into the starting line-up. Slovenian midfielder Amir Dervišević started on the bench tonight.
However, it was SC East Bengal who opened the account tonight with Semboi Haokip's header against his old side. Later in the second half, Ankit Mukherjee replaced the Tomislav Mrčela and made his debut for the Red and Gold Brigade this season. It was an all Indian back-four for SCEB in the majority of the second half.
A quick look at Bengaluru FC tonight
Bengaluru FC started the game with a 3-4-3 formation tonight. The Brazilian centre back Alan Costa played the role of a sweeper at the back along with Parag Srivas and Roshan Singh. Ashique Kuruniyan and Jayesh Rane covered the left and right wings in front of them respectively. Bruno Ramirez and Suresh Singh played at the centre of the park. Ramirez played a much defensive role whereas Suresh Singh tried to go forward through the SCEB midfield. Prince Ibara, Cleiton Silva and Udanta Singh played up front for the Blues.
Most of the BFC attacks in the first half was from the right-hand side. The link-ups and crosses from the right flank was always a threat to the SCEB defence. There were some movements from the left flank too. East Bengal managed to minimize the threat from the centre up to a limit in the first half.
A quick look at SC East Bengal tonight
SC East Bengal played with a 4-4-2 formation with Chima and Semboi upfront for them. The Red and Gold Brigade maintained their shape pretty well. There were many forward plays from them. While attacking, the two wide midfielders went up to support the two strikers. When they lose the ball, SCEB switched into a 4-4-1-1 often with Chima being the lone striker and Semboi Haokip dropping back into the East Bengal half.
SC East Bengal brought Amarjit Singh onto the field at halftime in place of Noeram Mahesh Singh. Ankit Mukherjee made his debut for SCEB this season by replacing the Australian Tomislav Mrčela at the back. Joyner Lourenco slid into the centre back position and partnered with Adil Khan at the back. Mukherjee played as the right-back for rest of the match. It was the blues who had the upper hand in the second half.
A stronger SC East Bengal defence
SC East Bengal who conceded 18 goals coming into today's game had a better defensive display in today's game. The East Bengal defence started with Tomislav Mrčela and Adil Khan at the centre and Hira Mondal and Joyner Lourenco at the full-back positions. Later in the second half, they went for an all Indian back-four with Ankit Mukherjee replacing the Australian. Bengaluru FC tried to break the SCEB defence with their wing play and crosses but, East Bengal defence averted the danger. Bengaluru FC couldn't get a shot on target in the entire first half.
There were a total of 11 shots from the Blues, but only two of them were on target. 4 shots out of these 11 were blocked by East Bengal. The defenders marked Bengaluru players really well especially Adil Khan who follow Prince Ibara like a shadow and prevented Ibara from causing any damage. SCEB defended very resiliently and this was one of their best defensive performance in this entire season.
Unbeaten run continues
With the 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal, Bengaluru FC are continuing their unbeaten run. Their last defeat was a 2-1 defeat on the eleventh of December against FC Goa. Since then, the Blues haven't tasted a loss yet. They drew the next two games against ATK Mohun Bagan and Jamshedpur FC and won 4-2 against Chennaiyin FC before the new year. It wasn't a very convincing 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal who are currently last in the table. Even though Marco Pezzaiuoli and his boys are unbeaten for the past 4 matches, they haven't got back into the winning tracks.