East Bengal may be punished by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) after a member of the coaching staff was heard abusing referee Santosh Kumar and supporters broke the cordon that marked the area for media’s interaction with players.
No arrests were made but the police had to rein in the fans after the I-League leaders lost 1-2 to Churchill Brothers. East Bengal player Cavin Lobo helped a fan from getting hurt after the match. East Bengal player Cavin Lobo helped a fan from getting hurt after the match.
“I have seen what happened and will definitely mention them in my report,” said match commissioner Binod Singh, leaving with the referees nearly 90 minutes after this 13th round match ended.
The journey from being the saviour to someone they want to “go back” took a little more than 90 minutes for East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan. The home team’s supporters at Barasat stadium also directed their anger at club officials.
Morgan said the first half was the worst they played defensively in the 10th I-League. “Definitely as bad as it gets. If we could make five substitutes, we would. I couldn’t believe what happened.
“(Defensively) they were sloppy, lazy and showed some poor decision making; doing things we don’t encourage. It was horrific. They had one striker and we have three players and he still goes and scores. People have jobs to do and we didn’t do them,” said Morgan. During the media interaction later, Morgan said he wished he could make seven substitutions
The East Bengal coach was reacting to goals from Anthony Wolfe and Ghanefo Kromah that put Churchill Brothers ahead by the 34th minute on Tuesday. Wolfe capitalised on an error from Ali to score the first goal and Kromah utilised an assist from the Churchill Brothers’ skipper for the second.
Morgan also said Ivan Bukenya was substituted at half-time “not because he was injured.” The league though is a long way from being won and lost, said the East Bengal coach.
Miracle, says Pereira
If anyone had told Derrick Pereira that he would win three straight games including ones against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, the Churchill Brothers coach would have felt that was simply unimaginable. “I would have called it a miracle,” said Pereira, who turns 55 on March 17.
“It was an honest effort from the boys; they were struggling in the later stages and the energy levels were down but they hung in there. Of course, being 2-0 up in the first half helped,” said Pereira.
The Churchill Brothers’ coach also said he was surprised by East Bengal’s starting 11. “I thought they would retain the team that won against Lajong. It didn’t make it easier for us but maybe it affected them more…We are still battling relegation but this is a bonus of three points,” said Pereira.