SC East Bengal's search for their first India Super League 2021-22 win continues as they hold Kerala Blasters to a 1-1 draw. The Kolkata giants maintained their lead till the 44th minute before Blaster's spoiled their party ahead of the break. It was Alvaro Vasquez's goal in the 44th minute that ensured all remained square. Here are the talking points from the match
Counter Attacking football from East Bengal
East Bengal has taken a long time to find their footing on this season's Indian Super League. From starting lineup to tactics, nothing seemed constant for the club.
But today's counter-attacking football against Kerala Blasters worked better on the pitch than their previous tactics.SCEB's right-winger Perosevic, who is almost always a shining light on the rather dull attacking unit, caused havoc on the right flank.
Sipovic is one of the most important players for the blasters this season. Defensively he is very sound and the coach was clearly relying on his long-forward balls.
But an early minute attack from Semboi, which had cost the East Bengal players a yellow card, had visibly rattled the Kerala defender. Even though he momentarily carried on after a first aid treatment. However, he had to leave the pitch at the 42nd minute of the match.
Kerala's finishing woes continue
From the first minute of the game, Blasters were blazing all the guns in the attack and created quite a lot of attacking opportunities. But couldn't finish well as the Vazquez Luna duo didn't seem to be as prolific as they should be.
Vazquez did get a goal written on his name and one of his goals were disallowed amidst chaos over a referee's decision. And one of the late goals was disallowed due to a push in the back. Thus the scoreline doesn't do justice to their attacking intensity throughout the match.
Better defensive show from SCEB
SC East Bengal's main thorn on their campaign has been their untidy back four. Yet today they looked a lot more composed on the back against Kerala than they usually have looked so far. The East Bengal defense had soaked up the relentless attacks from Kerala pretty calmly.
The main reason behind that might be the fact that the gaffer had started the same back four from their previous match against Goa for the first time this season. The back four had more time to gel and understand each other's positions and strengths a lot better, the Australian Mrcela was very good on defense and attack throughout the match.
East Bengal's search for a win continues
The Red and Golds' chances for qualification never looked as dim as it does now. Another chance goes begging for the Manolo Diaz men to register their first victory on this season's ISL. They are right now sitting at the 12th spot with only four points from the six games that they have played so far.
The coach, as well as the players, need to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible as they slowly enter the more competitive phase of the league. If Kerala had won today they had a chance of making an appearance in the top four. Even if that was brief, it would have been a good morale booster for the Blasters who had a mixed campaign so far.