Monday, June 24, 2024

10-man Lajong go down to East Bengal


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Kolkata: East Bengal continued their winning run with a 2-0 victory over a 10-man Shillong Lajong in their round four I-League fixture at the flood-lit Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.

The last year’s runners-up led 1-0 at the break with a 30th minute goal from captain Sanju Pradhan while Okpara sealed the issue in favour of East Bengal with an 89th minute strike.

East Bengal now have seven points from four matches, while the Shillong outfit remained with four from as many outings.

Having returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Mumbai FC, East Bengal looked aggressive right from the start with Orji Penn and Pradhan starting in the line-up, while Baljit Singh Sahni and Tolgay Ozbey up front.

But the North East team did not let up with some fine counterattacks as their defender Zohmingliana Ralte picked his second yellow in the 25th minute to be sent off, reducing Lajong to 10 players early into the first-half.

Five minutes later, East Bengal took the lead when Pradhan scored for with a long range rightfooter that went straight into the goal.

East Bengal held on to their lead, even as lack of creativity in the midfield was the order of the remaining first-half.

As Lajong boys were desperate for an equaliser, Uga Okpara handled the situation time and again intercepting all the moves, particularly from Johney, who made some good efforts but his shots went wide.

The 29-year-old Uga from Nigeria hurled his first goal in this edition with his powerful fight footer in a melie just one minute from end to give East Bengal just a respectable win.

Dempo blank

Pailan Arrows 3-0

Hosts Dempo continued its winning streak thrashing minnows Pailan Arrows 3-0 in the fourth round I-league encounter at Tilak Ground in Vasco on Sunday.

Dempo, who met with stiff resistance from AIFF’s young guns in the first half, needed coach Armando Colaco’s masterstroke substitutions Koko Sakibo (67th), Denzil Franco(77th) to do the trick with Ranty Martins (73rd) accounting for the other goal.

The hosts controlled the match in the first half and enjoyed better ball possession but failed to penetrate the stubborn rival defence which put up good a resistance.

With Dempo unable to break the jinx, Colaco brought in Koko Sakibo and he beat the rival goalkeeper with an angular drive off a lob from left back Sameer Naik.

Ranty Martins then made it 2-0 in the 73th minute when he slammed the ball into the net off a pass from Koko.

Substitute Franco then sealed the fate of the Pailan Arrows when his 30-yards free kick found the net.

With four wins in four matches, Dempo are leading the table with 12 points, while Arrows have one point from as many matches. (PTI)


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