East Bengal\'s I-League hopes virtually went up in smoke after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa.
Kolkata: East Bengal's I-League hopes virtually went up in smoke after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa at the Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan Sunday. East Bengal were wasteful to start with as the Goans drew the first blood when Juanfri Pena struck in the 43rd minute.
Cornered, the home outfit found the equaliser through Edeh Chidi who struck in the 62nd minute. It was East Bengal's fourth successive draw in the I-Leauge as they failed to earn full points to be on 43 points, with three more matches left.
Sporting Clube de Goa have 31 points from 24 matches. East Bengal now need a miracle to win the title as they are four points behind leaders Churchill Brothers who have four matches left. The red and gold brigade had the first opportunity in the 21st minute when Chidi's shot from inside the box was thwarted by an alert Sporting Clube goalkeeper Bruno Colaco.
Two minute later, East Bengal, Chidi's centre was wasted by Baljit Sahni who headed it wide. East Bengal had another chance in the 33rd minute when Ogba Kalu got clear of Uga Okpra inside the box but only to falter.
Nothing going in East Bengal's way, Spanish forward Pela of Sporting Clube took a curving shot from outside the box as the ball swung into the net to compound the home outfit's misery. East Bengal had another chance when from a Raju Gaikwad throw, Uga Okpara header came off the cross piece. East Bengal finally had some luck going their way when Chidi headed it home from a Robert Lal centre.