Sunday, February 21, 2016 Report by
Bello Rasaq's Header takes Red & Golds East Bengal Club to Second in Hero I-League 2016 Table following today's win over Salgaocar FC
Kingfisher East Bengal soared up to the second spot in the Hero I-League table following today's win over Salgaocar FC with Mohammed Rafique (38') opening the scoring before Darryl Duffy (65') grabbed an equaliser, finally, Bello Rasaq (83') headed in a late goal to register their 5th win in the ongoing Hero I-League 2015-16.
Biswajit Bhattacharya started with Abinash Ruidas as the U-22 player in the starting eleven. Visiting coach Santosh Kashyap had two changes from their stellar win over DSK Shivajians. Pawan Kumar and Brian Mascarenhas started in the places of Keenan Almeida and Gurjinder Kumar.
The home side were the dominant force in the beginning as Bernard Mendy found some space and triggered in from 28 yards for a shot at the goal which eventually was saved by Karanjit Singh. Twenty minutes into the game, Mohammed Rafique was on the end of a Bernard Mendy ball but the 25-year-old failed to keep possession. East Bengal started to turn up the heat and finally got the breakthrough in the 38th minute. Mehtab beat Augustin and moved forward to release the ball for the Rafique. The medio only had to go past Brian Mascarenhas and direct the ball towards the net as a diving Karanjit failed to grab the ball and the Red and Golds broke the deadlock.
The home side went into the break with a goal up but they nearly doubled their lead two minutes from half-time as Rahul Bheke's effort went inches wide of the far post from a drooping corner. In the second period, the story started the same way. East Bengal were on the act again within five minutes as Jairu crossed in the ball for Rafique who almost doubled his tally but his effort brushed past the side-netting.
Eder Monteiro had Darryl Duffy on the mark in the 55th minute as the away side pulled strings to get back into the game but Luis Barreto collected the ball with ease.
Darryl Duffy equalised ten minutes later and eventually surpassed Ranti Martins to become the highest scorer in the Hero I-League with eight goals in as many games. Jackichand passed onto Augustin who sent in a long ball from the half line, having received it Duffy headed towards the goal and Bheke's deflection helped the ball go into the net.
In a flurry of corners for the home side, Sanju Pradhan sent in a third successive one for Bello Rassaq who found the roof of the net seven minutes from the final whistle.
The home side held onto the scoreline to register their 5th victory of the season. With 17 points, the Red and Golds leapfrogged Bengaluru FC into the second place, just 1 point behind the defending champions Mohun Bagan. Salgaocar FC however, remain stranded at the 8th spot with five points, tasting their fifth defeat of the season.