East Bengal were eliminated from the Super Cup 2023 following a 2-2 tie with Aizawl FC on Monday at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri.
Stephen Constantine, who guided the team in their last EB game against Aizawl, needed to win by at least three goals to keep their qualifying chances alive. Despite grabbing a 2-0 lead just 22 minutes, the Red and Gold Brigade were unable to maintain their lead.
In the 17th minute, East Bengal took the lead. Cleiton Silva found Naorem Mahesh Singh on the left wing with a wonderful through pass. Mahesh attempted to reach Passi in the centre, but the ball deflected off Aizawl goalie Vanlal Hriatpuia and into the net.
Sumeet Passi increased East Bengal’s lead five minutes later with a wonderful header following a great cross from the right by V.P. Suhair.
Aizawl grabbed one back just before the break, thanks to H.K. Lalhruaitluanga and David Lalhlansanga.
Lalhlansanga added his name on the scoresheet three minutes into the second half with a superb long-ranger to tie the game at 2-2.
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If that wasn’t enough, minutes after the restart Aizawl drew level. Japanese defender Saito’s long ball into the East Bengal penalty box was cleared neatly by Kamaljit.
The keeper had rushed off his line to kick the ball clear, and ensure Aizawl didn’t run through, but his clearance fell straight to David 40 yards from the goal.
The forward took his shot and it sailed in, to the astonishment of almost everyone in the stadium.
Meanwhile, more adjustments to the timetable have been made. The semifinals and final will begin at 7 p.m. rather than 8.30 p.m. The last two Group D matches will begin off at the same time (8.30 p.m.): Mumbai City will face Chennaiyin FC here, while NorthEastern United will face Churchill Brothers in Kozhikode.
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