Panaji (Goa) [India], October 15 (ANI): SC East Bengal breezed past Vasco SC 3-1 in their first pre-season friendly at the Don Bosco Ground here on Friday. Semboi Haokip, Subha Ghosh, and U-20 developmental player Siddhant Shirodkar were on target for the red and gold brigade.
Head coach Manolo Diaz gave starts to Sankar Roy in goal with Raju Gaikwad and Joyner Lourenco playing at the heart of the defence. Sarineo Fernandes and Ankit Mukherjee were the fullbacks as Lalrinliana Hnamte and Sourav Das pulled the strings in midfield in a 4-4-2 formation.
Songpu Singsit and Romeo Fernandes were the wide midfielders, trying to feed Subha and Semboi upfront. Both teams were keen on testing each other out in the opening exchanges as Diaz looked to chop and change in a bid to test his squad.
After a spell of sustained possession, SC East Bengal went ahead riding Haokip's sharp header. A delectable Hnamte ball inside the box was headed into the path of Haokip by Akashdeep Singh who came in for Ankit. Haokip kept his composure from close range to get the better of Luis Barreto in Vasco's SC goal.
With two minutes to halftime, Subha shimmied effortlessly into the box but his shot fizzed just wide of the post. The second half saw SC East Bengal boss possession and soon it reaped dividends.
Naorem Mahesh, in for Romeo, made a buccaneering run into the Vasco SC area to cross the ball for Subha who made no mistake from close with an easy tap-in. Diaz added solidity on the flanks with the introduction of Hira Mondal and the left-back did not disappoint, cutting inside on one occasion to make a darting run goalwards.
Mondal was rock solid in marking his opponents and produced a solid display. Slovenian midfielder Amir Dervisevic, Croatian forward Antonio Perosevic, and Australian centre-back Tomislav Mrcela also got minutes among the foreign players. Perosevic even found the post to his dismay.
Vasco SC pulled one back in the last ten minutes of the game but U-20 developmental player Siddhant Shirodkar made it 3-1 for SC East Bengal from a Mondal assist. The team will take on Salgaocar FC on Saturday. (ANI)