Hyderabad FC came from behind to hold East Bengal FC 3-3 in a high-scoring Group B match in the Hero Super Cup at the Payyanad stadium, Manjeri, on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
After two matches, Hyderabad FC now have four points, while East Bengal have two. In the same group, Odisha FC have four points and Aizawl FC have none.
East Bengal Head Coach Stephen Constantine was well aware of the fact that winning maximum points from this tie would keep their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals from this group alive.
The former Indian Men’s National Team Head Coach chose to start the match with an unchanged side, which faced Odisha FC in their previous outing.
On the other hand, Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez preferred to bring in a few changes from the team that faced Aizawl FC in their opening Group B clash. Experienced India international Akash Mishra, captain Joao Victor, and Rohit Danu figured in the starting eleven.
East Bengal took the lead within the first few minutes of the match through one of their most consistent performers, Naorem Mahesh Singh. The Hyderabad FC defence was caught napping when Cleiton Silva played a forward pass down the middle to find Naorem Mahesh with only Hyderabad FC goalkeeper Gurmeet to beat.
Mahesh rounded off Gurmeet to put the ball in an open net to make it 1-0. Hyderabad FC responded back with a goal from Javier Siverio to make it 1-1. When winger Halicharan Narzary received the ball on the left wing, East Bengal right back, Athul Unnikrishnan allowed the pacey winger to whip in a cross, which found forward Siverio inside the box, who headed in.
East Bengal kept knocking at Hyderabad FC’s goal and were rewarded for their perseverance when VP Suhair put the team from Kolkata ahead. Naorem Mahesh Singh put in a brilliant flat cross to find Jake Jervis. The Englishman forced a save from Gurmeet, which the Hyderabad goalkeeper parried away. Suhair collected the ball inside the box and smashed it into the top corner to make it 2-1 for East Bengal.
It looked like East Bengal would cruise to victory when Naorem Mahesh Singh made it 3-1 just moments before half-time. But Hyderabad FC came down all guns blazing in the second half as they knew dropping points would hamper their chances of qualifying for the knockout stage.
Hyderabad’s second goal came when Borja Herrera Gonzalez collected a pass from the right wing a few metres outside the East Bengal penalty box and unleashed a piledriver, which should have been saved by Kamaljit Singh.
The East Bengal goalkeeper failed to carry the ball and Siverio scored from the rebound to make it 3-2 in the 71st minute. Substitute Abdul Rabeeh scored from a Narzary cross to make it 3-3 in the 83rd minute.