Hyderabad FC continue their unbeaten streak in the Indian Super League 2021-22 with a 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal in a power-packed encounter. Amir Dervisevic opened the scoring for the Red and Gold army in the 20th minute of the game giving his side much-needed confidence but Bartholomew Ogbeche responded in the 35th minute with a brilliant header to equalise the scores.
With this draw, Hyderabad FC have extended their unbeaten streak to six games which is the most in the league currently. Hyderabad have also climbed up to the second position in the table while East Bengal remain at the bottom of the table after another frustrating outing. As enthralling as the encounter has been, we at The Bridge picked out some of the highlights from this enthralling clash.
Left is Right for Both Hyderabad and East Bengal
It looked like both Hyderabad FC and SC East Bengal had gone in this match intending to play from the left side only. While Hyderabad missed Ashish Rai on the right, SC East Bengal looked to exploit that side of their team and it worked for them as Amir Dervisevic's free-kick goal came from that side only after Chinglesana fouled Hnamte just outside the box. Akash Mishra and Aniket Jadhav combined beautifully for Hyderabad on the left flank as well with Aniket's cross from the left finding Ogbeche's head for the equaliser. Overall most attempts on goal from either side were from the left side only.
Ogbeche is Unstoppable
Bartholomew Ogbeche continued his purple patch in Indian Super League as he scored once again against East Bengal. With this goal, he has now scored six goals in Indian Super League 2021-22 season which takes him to the top place for the golden boot. He has also scored 41 goals in ISL history and is just seven short of Coro's all-time record of 48 goals. If he continues his form then we might see a new top scorer in ISL history.
Ogbeche after his goal; Via ISL Media
Will East Bengal Ever Win This Season?
SC East Bengal is having one of their worst seasons ever. This question has been already asked quite a few times this season and it will continue to be asked until we get the answer. Even after eight games, East Bengal are the only side yet to register a win on the board. The pressure is rising on Manolo Diaz as his team sits bottom of the table with only four points from eight games.
So Close Yet So Far
This has been probably the most used phrase by the commentators in this match. Both teams had a plethora of big chances at their disposal throughout the ninety minutes but they could hardly take advantage of them. Hyderabad had around twenty attempts on goal but only five of them were on target and only one found the back of the net. East Bengal had ten attempts themselves but only one was on target and that was the goal.
There were also instances for either side where they came close to getting a penalty but the referee thought otherwise both times. Therefore, both teams would be saying to themselves, 'So close yet so far.'
Raju Gaikwad's Injury
SC East Bengal's Raju Gaikwad picked up a serious head injury in the injury time of the first half of the game. Gaikwad tried to head down the ball in his own penalty box to clear the danger of Joel Chianese but instead of finding the contact with the ball, he got hit on the head by Chianese trailing leg and found himself bleeding on the ground.
He did come back on the pitch after putting on a lot of bandages but he had to be eventually taken off in the second half and it looked like he wasn't feeling himself for quite some time. This injury could come as a serious blow for already struggling East Bengal and they would be hoping that it's not too serious.
Hyderabad FC play Odisha FC on December 28th while SC East Bengal play Bengaluru on January 4th next. Both teams would look to get all three points in those games surely.