I-League giants East Bengal beat Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goa 2-1 in a pre-season friendly match at the Bambolim Stadium, Goa on Friday. Brandon Vanlalremdika and Charles D’Souza scored for the Kolkata side while Manvir Singh netted the consolation goal for the home team.
Sergio Lobera started with three foreigners with Moroccan Ahmed Jahouh in the heart of the defence. Manuel Lanzarote and Bruno Pinheiro were the other two overseas players for the ISL side.
Brandon Fernandes was mostly deployed on the left with Mandar Rao Dessai playing more towards the right side. Narayan Das, back with his former side, ran down the left flank with Manvir Singh up front.
As many as five foreigners started for East Bengal. Eduardo was pairing Mehtab Singh at the back. The midfield was marshalled by Mahmoud Al Almna and Katsumi Yusa, with Willis Plaza as the lone striker.
The Kolkatan giants took the early lead from Yusa’s corner kick as Brandon Vanlalremdika nodded in around 10 minutes into the game. Plaza came close to turning that into a 2-0 lead in the first half but for Kattimani to block the shot at goal.
Brandon was impressive in patches for the Gaurs while Lanzarote got close from his set-piece from about 30 yards out that saw Mirshad Michu dive to his right to keep it out.
Konsham Chinglensana Singh replaced Mohammed Ali in the one change for FC Goa in the second half that saw Pinshero push into the back to allow Jahouh to move ahead of the backline.
Apart from the scoring the all-important opening goal for the I-League giants, Brandon was upbeat on the flank and kept Mandar Rao Desai silent for almost the entire game. East Bengal gaffer Khalid Jamil replaced wasteful Willis Plaza in the last quarter of the match with another foreign striker Charles D’Souza.
Manvir Singh pulled one back for the home side in the last five minutes of regulation time to bring some relief for the local fans. The youngster found the back of the net from Brandon Fernades’ cross.
Unfortunately, FC Goa’s joy did not last long as super sub-Charles scored the winning goal for Red and Golds in the injury time. Once again Brandon was the architect behind the goal. The winger found Amna who forwarded the pass to the Brazilian striker. Charles dribbled past Bruno and scored at Naveen’s near post.
FC Goa XI: Kattimani (GK); Seriton, Jahouh, Ali, Narayan; Mandar, Bruno, Pronay, Lanzarote, Brandon; Manvir
East Bengal XI: Mirshad (GK); Salam, Mehtab Singh, Eduardo, Tanmoy; Ralte, Bazzo, Al Amna, Brandon, Katsumi; Plaza