Goa: SC East Bengal managed to scratch their way to hold off Chennaiyin FC sharing points after the game between them ended 0-0 in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Friday.
EB manager Manolo Diaz brought in a couple of charges from last game’s defeat handing Daniel Chima Chukwu and Amarjit Singh Kiyam their first starts.
Suvam Sen, still filling in for the injured first choice goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya kept his side in the game right from kick-off as Chennaiyin were creating havoc at the final third. First Mirlan Murzaev tested the young custodian from point blank range before Lallianzuala Chhangte struck straight at him.
EB midfielder Amir Dervisevic almost handed the Machans a lead in 25th minute as the Slovenian, in an attempt to intercept a low cross from Chhangte deflected it towards his own goal, but fortunately it only brushed the side-netting.
While Chennaiyin created flurry of half-chances, their below par finishing meant they were unable open the deadlock before the break.
Chhangte was the man who gave the East Bengal much scare as his turn of pace was clearly making the opposing defenders run behind him.
The East Bengal looked out of shape failing to find their rhythm. Chhangte tested Suvam again in the shot the loose ball but his attempt was blocked, five minutes in the second half. Skipper Aniruddh Thapa created a superb opening finding Jerry on the through as the full back struck a wild shot to make a mess of it.
East Bengal in the final phases though had a few opportunities. Chukwu first released a weak shot on target before Raju Gaikwad, who connected his header from a Dervisevic corner but it only bounced and got into the goal-keeper’s gloves.
The Marina Machans now sit on top of the table with 7 points while SC East Bengal after back-to-back heavy defeats found some solace, placed 9th with a couple of points.