ISL 2022-23: Last-gasp Cleiton Silva free-kick leads East Bengal to double over Bengaluru FC

Cleiton Silva scored the opening goal for East Bengal with a penalty.
Cleiton Silva scored the opening goal for East Bengal with a penalty.
Shibu Preman/Focus Sports/ISL

East Bengal completed the double against Bengaluru FC, with Cleiton Silva once again foiling his former club's chances with a 93rd-minute winner, as the hosts won a 2-1 thriller in the last game of Indian Super League (ISL) in 2022.

Stephen Constantine's team took the lead thanks to a Silva penalty in the 39th minute. The goal came against the run of play thanks to some good work from VP Suhair on the right flank. Suhair's mazy run forced Naorem Roshan Singh into a mistimed sliding tackle, and the ball rolled onto his arms. The referee pointed to the spot. Silva took a stuttering run-up but calmly slotted his penalty home, putting East Bengal 1-0 up against his former club for the second time this season.

Bengaluru looked threatening from set-pieces in the first half, with headed chances falling to Sunil Chhetri, Parag Shrivas, and Pablo Perez. Roy Krishna was also a threat in open play but couldn't find the finishing touch, as the first half ended with East Bengal in a 1-0 lead.

Bengaluru's persistence was rewarded in the 55th minute. Once again, Krishna was in the thick of things. He went on a run on the right flank before cutting it back to Javi Hernandez, who smashed the ball into the net.

Alex Lima and Noarem Mahesh Singh looked like they could open things up whenever they got on the ball in the first half but weren't able to affect the game as often in the second. But both sides had chances to take the lead. Chhetri was through on goal in the 73rd minute but couldn't sort his feet out, whereas Silva got his feet sorted in the 83rd minute but had his shot go wide.

Both sides pushed for a winner. Bengaluru FC substitute Sivasakthi Narayanan came ever so close in the 90th minute, but Suvam Sen was there to deny him. He was left to regret it as Silva scored an outstanding free-kick three minutes into stoppage time to give East Bengal all three points and move above them into 8th place.