Last place went to East Bengal, which drew with North East

 East Bengal finished last in the ISL. Last-placed East Bengal and North East drew 1-1 in today’s match. This ensured that East Bengal would finish last. Today, Sahanak gave the North East the lead in the last minute of the first half. East Bengal responded with a penalty in the second half.

Perosavic converted a penalty in the 55th minute. The North East season ended with this draw. They finished 10th with 14 points from 20 matches. East Bengal are in last place with 11 points from 19 matches. Even if the last match is won, North East will be ahead in head to head.

Goals from Marco Sahanek and Antonio Perosevic managed to split the points either way as Khalid Jamil’s men ended the season with only three wins. As for SC East Bengal, their winless run extended to seven matches.

Marco Sahanek (45+1′) scored his first goal for NEUFC to give them the lead in the first half but the equaliser came through Antonio Perosevic (55′ P) who scored from a precise penalty.

Two good chances fell East Bengal’s way in the early stages with Lalrinliana Hnamte making the goalkeeper pull off a good save and Mahesh Naorem Singh hitting the crossbar from long-range. NEUFC survived another scare after the half-hour mark as a volley by Antonio Perosevic missed the target by a whisker.

However, it was the Highlanders that took the lead just a minute before the half-time whistle. A header from Deshorn Brown hit the left post and fell kindly to Marco Sahanek who made no mistake and buried his left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner. Thanks to that goal, NEUFC went into the break with their noses in front.

The second half did not begin according to plan for Khalid Jamil and co as Patrick Flottmann’s push on Fran Sota during an aerial battle was deemed as a foul in the box, leading to a penalty. Perosevic scored the equaliser from the penalty spot, after sending Mirshad Michu the wrong way.

Marcelinho came off the bench for NEUFC to inject some energy in the final third and combined with Suhair but the latter’s volley was expertly punched away by Sankar Roy in goal. Four minutes were added for stoppages but neither team had the cutting edge to score the winner in the end. With nothing to separate the teams, the game ended in a draw, much to the disappointment of both sets of players.

SC East Bengal will pull the curtains on their ISL season by playing Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Saturday while No’thEast United’s campaign has come to an end.

SC East Bengal Starting XI: Sankar Roy (GK), Hira Mondal, Huidrom Singh, Franjo Prce, Joyner Laurenco, Mohammad Rafique (C), Sourav Das, Lalrinliana Hnamte, Fran Sota, Antonio Perosevic, Naorem Singh

NorthEast United Starting XI: Mirshad Michu (GK), Mashoor Shereef, Zakaria Diallo, Gurjinder Kumar, Mohamed Irshad, Pragyan Gogoi, Joe Zoherliana, Imran Khan, Suhair, Marco Sahanek and Deshorn Brown.

MATCH PREVIEW

The two sides – NorthEast United FC and SC East Bengal – occupying the last two positions in the current ISL-8 league table will meet at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Monday, in a contest to avoid finishing at the bottom of the standings this season.

This remains a game of academic interest at a time when the competition for the league winner’s Shield is reaching a climax. But for the two sides in question, it will be a last chance to finish on a bright note in a season that was filled with disappointments.

SC East Bengal is at the 11th spot with 10 points from 18 games while NorthEast United FC has 13 points from 19 matches. A win for NEUFC will see them securing the 10 spot leaving East Bengal at the bottom.

SC East Bengal, which has only one win to its credit, will be having its worst outing considering it finished ninth with three wins and 17 points last season. NorthEast United FC, which reached the play-offs last season, has suffered a bigger heart break conceding 12 defeats while managing just three wins.

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