Aibanbha Dohling

I-League 2017-18: Dudu's brilliant brace not sufficient, East Bengal drops vital points against Lajong

[caption id="attachment_63827" align="aligncenter" width="580"]28740725_1362162063930460_525096256_n Dudu scored a brace for East Bengal today. Image Source: Hotstar[/caption]

XtraTime Web Desk: Dudu Omagbemi appeared to be ahuge lifeline as a terrific brace from the experienced Nigerian still keep the hopes alive for the Red and Gold brigade as Khalid Jamil's team had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Shillong Lajong.

Dudu Omagbemi's outstanding brace (20' and 88') turned to be the deciding factor for the Red and Gold again as it salvaged a draw on either side of goals from Lajong duo Aibanbha Dohling (49') and Samuel Lalmuanpuia (69' Penalty).

It was Lalramchullova's cunning long diagonal ball into the gap between the two central defenders that Dudu headed into the net to break the deadlock. Kenstar Kharsong was caught napping as he allowed the Nigerian to play onside, thus bringing up his sixth goal of the season with four of them in the last game itself.

Nidhin Lal kept his side in the hunt with a couple of brilliant saves off Kromah's efforts. The Liberian showed extreme agility to make his way into the box with his shot punched away in the 25th minute. Juho Oh then cleared up before Dudu could reach it. A couple of minutes later, the former Chennaiyin custodian did well to tip the ball over the bar from a powerful shot.

Hardly four minutes in the second half, Saihou Jagne won a free-kick which helped the hosts equalise. Lalmunapuia delivered a perfect ball into the box, defender Aibanbha Dohling had gone up and rose the tallest to head the ball into the corner of the net as Salam Ranjan Singh and Gurwinder Singh were both beaten for height.

Mehtab Singh shot his team in the foot as he brought down Lalmuanpuia inside the box and the diminutive playmaker obliged by converting from the twelve-yard spot.

In the 88th minute Kromah fired a powerful shot on the face of the goal but it was Dudu who showed terrific reflexes to deflected his header to rattle the back of the net.

The draw now makes it an open chance for Mohun Bagan, Neroca and Minerva as well alongside East Bengal to lift the illusive title.

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