Sporting upset JCT, East Bengal win

February 8th, 2009 - 11:39 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 7 (IANS) Mohamedan Sporting upset JCT Mills Phagwara 2-0 while East Bengal played a scintillating second half to ride past Air India 3-1 in the I-league here Saturday.
After a barren first half, East Bengal struck through Yusif Yakubu, Sunil Chhetri and Sanju Pradhan to log full points from the Salt Lake stadium encounter. Singam Subash Singh got the reducer for the airmen two minutes before time.

Into the 14th round, Air India now occupy the sixth position with 17 points. On the other hand, East Bengal have now climbed up one place to the seventh spot collecting 16 points.

The day’s second match saw Sporting, deep in relegation zone, scoring through Jyotikumar and Mike Okoro, both goals coming in the latter half.

East Bengal took the lead in the 49th minute when veteran Ghanaian Yakubu shot in a Sanju Pradhan pass.

Seven minutes later an Air India defender failed to properly clear a Renedy Singh lob and Chhetri flicked home.

Keeping up the pressure, East Bengal struck again nine minutes from close as yet another Renedy lob found Air India goalkeeper Arup Debnath fumbling and Pradhan sent a right footer into the net.

Air India made the scoreline 3-1 in the 88th minute from a free kick. Napoleon Singh’s set piece was misheaded by Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Subash made no mistake in intercepting and putting the ball into the goal.

Sporting on the other hand went ahead in the 72nd minute, with a Shibaji Mondal cross being directed into the goal by Jyotikumar.

Nigerian Okoro doubled the lead from a penalty in the 79th minute. JCT defender Julius Akpele brought down Jyotikumar inside the box and referee Dipak Singh of Delhi had no hesitation in pointing to the dreaded spot. Okoro had little problem in converting.

Sporting are now tenth in the 12-team race with 13 points from 14 games. JCT are Sporting’s immediate superiors in the league standings, gathering 16 points.

The two bottom-ranked teams in the league table would be demoted to the second division from the I-league.

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