East Bengal succumbed to their third consecutive loss at home as they were handed a 0-1 loss by defending champions Minerva Punjab at the Salt Lake Stadium in the I-League on Tuesday. This result makes things tough for the Red and Gold brigade who have faced three straight losses after they won their first two games and lie at the eighth position with six points from five games.
Meanwhile, Minerva Punjab FC, who have won their second consecutive match in the league. A goal from William Opoku in the 77th minute made all the difference in the night as Paul Munster’s men now find themselves in the second place with 11 points from seven games, six short of leaders Chennai City FC.
The hosts had far better chances in the match but missed out on scoring because of poor finishing, something which could turn out to be a major problem going ahead into the season.
Both the good chances in the first half was created by Jobby Justin. The first one was missed by Mexican recruit Enrique Esqueda while Brandon Vanlalremdika could be held guilty for squandering the second chance.
However, both sides look far more creative in the second half with Opoku getting a good chance to score in the 57th minute from a cross by Moinuddin. But he missed the target by a small margin.
In the 62nd, it was Esqueda who almost drew first blood with his long-range volley but Minerva goalie Arshdeep Singh denied the effort.
In a counter-attack, Opoku once again was fed by Moinuddin and this time, he didn’t miss the target with East Bengal custodian Ubaid CK misjudging and coming up in front.