131st IndianOil Durand Cup Match Report – Rajasthan United FC gain a point in goalless draw against Emami East Bengal
Emami East Bengal – 0 Rajasthan United FC- 0
Kolkata, Thursday, August 25, 2022: Rajasthan United FC (RUFC) were the happier of the two teams in a fast-paced goalless draw against local giants Emami East Bengal (EEB) in a 131st IndianOil Durand Cup Group B game at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK) here in the south of the city. EEB had the more chances in the game and also more possession, but RUFC missed a penalty in the second-half, as they came out with four points in two games, remaining unbeaten against both the local giants ATK Mohun Bagan and EEB. They along with Mumbai City FC are the top two in the group currently and favourites to qualify.
All 47 games of the 131st Durand Cup are being telecast LIVE on Sports18 1 SD & HD and Sports18 Khel as well as live-streamed on the Over the Top (OTT) platform VOOT!
EEB coach Stephen Constantine made four changes to their starting line-up brining in Alex Lima, Tuhin Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala and Cypriot Charalambos Kyriacou in place of the injured Naorem Mahesh Singh, Mobashir Rahman, Pritam Singh and Wahengbam Angousana. RUFC gaffer Pushpender Kundu made just one change bringing in Brazilian forward Sergio Barboza Junior in place of Alister Anthony.
EEB were in charge from the get go as RUFC absorbed the pressure in front of a noisy 12,000 strong home crowd. Just after an injured Ankit Mukherjee was replaced by Md. Rakip, Aniket Jadhav, who had a suoper game down the EEB right flank, drove into the box and cut back for Amarjeet to pounce, but his punch grazed the cross-bar to go over the target.
A minute later, he found Suhair, who was wasteful on the day, but the RUFC keeper Niraj Kumar was up to the task.
Lalremsanga Fanai got RUFC’s first shot on target off a corner, but his acrobatic volley was straight at the keeper and Kamaljit in the EEB goal collected comfortably.
In the second minute of injury-time in the first-half, Aniket produced another penetrating run inside the box finding Suhair again but the forward could not trap cleanly with just the keeper to beat in front of goal.
Double change for EEB at the break
Stephen Constantine effected two changes at the break replacing Amarjit Kiyam with Souvik Chakrabarti and Spaniard Ivan Gonzalez with Kyriacou.
However, the golden chance to score came RUFC’s way in the 61st minute, when Lalremsanga was brought down inside the box by Souvik and referee Crystal John had no hesitation pointing to spot. The effort from Barboza Junior was weak though and Kamaljit saved easily.
The changes kept coming in from both camps thick and fast thereafter but none of the defensive citadels could be breached on the day with Melroy Assisi being awarded the Man of the Match for his robust work at the heart of the RUFC defence.
Matchday 11 of the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup on Friday will see reigning Indian Super League champions Hyderabad FC take on Chennayin FC in a Group C encounter at the Khuman Lampak stadium in Imphal. That will be followed by FC Goa taking on Jamshedpur in a Group A game at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK).
Next games of EEB and RUFC
EEB take on arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata derby on August 28, 2022 at the VYBK while RUFC go up against Mumbai City FC a day later at the KBK.