Matti Steinmann’s brace saw SC East Bengal come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Chennaiyin FC in the Tilak Maidan on Saturday.
Lallianzuala Chhangte (13′) and Rahim Ali (64′) scored Chennaiyin’s goals through swift counter attacks, while Steinmann’s two goals came from corners (59′, 68′).
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SCEB started the game on a more aggressive note, winning a couple of corners in the first ten minutes. But an early goal for their opponents pegged them back.
Jakub Sylvestr stole the ball and diverted it into the path of Chhangte with a deft touch. But from there, it was all Chhangte as he used his pace to hold off the pursuing defenders and place his shot under the onrushing Debjit Majumder.
SCEB struggled for a while, but around the half-hour mark Jacques Maghoma found himself through on goal with Deepak Tangri trying to tussle him off the ball, but Chennaiyin keeper Vishal Kaith came out and got to it first. He briefly lost control of the ball after Tangri clashed into him, but regained it before any damage was done. Seven minutes later, Mohammed Rafique wasted a golden opportunity to pull SCEB level. A long-ball from midfield found Rafique with only Kaith to beat, he rounded the keeper but before he could place a shot into the empty net, Tangri slid in to recover.
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Then the goal-rush around the hour mark. In the 59th minute, Steinmann powered a header past Kaith off a corner to drag SCEB back on level terms. Five minutes later, a defensive mistake from Bikash Jairu allowed Ali to score his second goal in as many matches.
Chennaiyin nearly increased their lead a couple of minutes later when Enes Sipovic directed a header on to the crossbar off a corner. But instead, it was SCEB who drew parity again with Steinmann scoring his second of the night. Kaith’s punch off a header from Daniel Fox’s header was weak and took the ball straight to Steinmann, who made no mistake from close range.
The point lifts East Bengal off the bottom of the 11-team table, into 10th – they have 3 points in seven, and face bottom placed Odisha next on the 3 January. Chennaiyin meanwhile remain in seventh with 9 points in seven, and face high-flying ATK Mohun Bagan next on 29 December.
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