SC East Bengal ended their disastrous Indian Super League (ISL) campaign at the rock bottom of the table after losing 0-1 to Bengaluru FC in their last match of the season on Saturday.
Sunil Chhetri’s solitary strike (24th) proved to be the difference, bagging three points for Marco Pezzaiuoli’s men in their final fixture of their 2021-22 campaign.
The result meant that the Kolkata-based club finished the season in the bottom-place on the points table, with only one win in 20 matches. On the other hand, Bengaluru FC finished in sixth place as they secured 29 points overall.
Antonio Perosevic tested Lara Sharma in the goal from a free-kick early in the match but the custodian made a fine save.
The game was evenly balanced until a moment of individual brilliance from Chhetri who broke the deadlock. The skipper controlled a long ball on his chest and slotted the shot into the bottom left corner to give the lead to the Blues in the 24th minute.
Udanta Singh then came close to scoring but saw his long-range shot hit the crossbar at the stroke of half-hour.
The first half did not have any more goals apart from a lot of goalmouth action from both teams.
The Red & Gold brigade suffered a setback by losing Perosevic to an ankle injury, who was replaced by Marcelo Ribeiro.
The second half saw a harder push for the second goal from Bengaluru FC. However, they handed a gift to Thongkhosiem Haokip at the hour mark only for him to lift his chip sail way over the bar.
A whole host of changes were made by both coaches to give time to youngsters and inject more energy in the match after the hour mark.
Bengaluru came close to extending their lead, courtesy Chhetri, whose powerful drive was parried away by Suvam Sen in SCEB’s goal.
Ananta Tamang and Sen them combined a few minutes later to deny a second goal to Chhetri.