A comprehensive performance against Pathachakra on Tuesday helped East Bengal boot out all the negativity which surrounded the club after their draw against Calcutta Customs in the second match of the Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division ‘A’ 2018.
Joby Justin marked his comeback to East Bengal's starting lineup with a match-winning performance. He scored a brace to guide his team to victory and also assured thousands of fans who were worried about the strike force of the side.
Midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna, who was brought on in the second half against Customs, started the game against Pathachakra. He excelled in the number 10 role in place of injured Lalrindika Ralte.
Amna made his presence felt from the beginning of the game. The duo of Justin and Amna provided the sharpness in the attacking third. They were clinical and combined well.
Also, credit must be given to the East Bengal think-tank for their tactical prowess on the pitch. The Red and Golds started the match in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Kamalpreet Singh playing deep in the midfield. But soon they changed to a more attacking 4-1-3-2 formation with Amna moving forward to help Joby.
This constant change of formation during the match completely confused the opposition who never imposed any threat on East Bengal and also failed to stop them in their own half.
Remco Boere’s side lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Lalkamal Bhowmick in the heart of the midfield. But the veteran midfielder failed to read the opponent’s movements which helped the home side.
After the game, Pathachakra’s Dutch coach pointed it out, “Our midfield completely failed. Every time East Bengal players got the ball they were free. Nobody was marking them. That is an issue with their mentality. We had an okay game against Tollygunge Agragami. But of course, East Bengal is not Tollygunge so you have to do more.”
Leaving out the three giants of Kolkata football, Pathachakra is one of the toughest teams in the CFL this season. A thumping win against such a formidable opponent will surely boost East Bengal’s confidence after the setback against Customs.