East Bengal vs Odisha FC, In a closely contested encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium, East Bengal, and Odisha FC battled to a goalless draw, with both teams earning a point each in the ongoing ISL 2023-24 season. The match witnessed plenty of end-to-end action, but a lack of clinical finishing in the attacking third meant neither side could break the deadlock.
Early Opportunities and Missed Chances: East Bengal vs Odisha FC
The first half provided a competitive contest, featuring numerous end-to-end exchanges. Odisha FC had an early chance in the ninth minute when Isak Ralte took advantage of a miscued clearance by East Bengal’s Lalchungnunga. However, Odisha couldn’t convert the opportunity into a meaningful attempt on goal. East Bengal responded with a promising chance in the 27th minute, as Nandhakumar navigated through the right flank, beating three Odisha defenders. Despite a well-angled attempt, Odisha’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh made a crucial save.
Odisha’s Missed Opportunity and Late Surges:
Odisha FC had a golden opportunity in the 61st minute when Roy Krishna’s low cross from the left found Jerry Mawihmingthanga, but the connection was missed. In the final 10 minutes, East Bengal launched several attacks. However, their efforts were met with frustration as the referee, S. Senthil Nathan, overlooked two potential penalty claims against Odisha defenders—Mourtada Fall and Jerry Lalrinzuala.
Controversial Refereeing Decisions:
The controversy unfolded in the 90th minute when Mourtada Fall appeared to block a shot from East Bengal’s Javier Siverio with his hand. The referee, however, dismissed the penalty claims and booked an East Bengal player for protesting. In another instance, Odisha’s Jerry Lalrinzuala, who was already booked, escaped punishment for bringing down East Bengal’s P.V. Vishnu inside the box. The inconsistent refereeing decisions left East Bengal’s coach, Carles Cuadrat, expressing frustration over missed opportunities for his team.
Late Penalty Appeals Denied:
East Bengal’s late appeals for two penalties were denied. With the referee turning a blind eye to potential handballs and fouls in the box by Odisha defenders. The team felt aggrieved over the decisions. Believing they were robbed of an opportunity to secure a victory in the dying moments of the match.
In the end, both East Bengal and Odisha FC had to settle for a goalless draw. Each gained a point from the closely contested encounter. The match highlighted the fine margins and the impact of refereeing decisions. In shaping the outcome of a game in the ISL.
What’s Next for Both Teams:
As the ISL season progresses, East Bengal will look to regroup and capitalize on their chances in upcoming fixtures. Odisha FC, on the other hand, will aim to build on the positives. And address areas for improvement in their campaign. The quest for valuable points and improved performances continues for both teams in this competitive season.