East Bengal get past Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1November 16th, 2008 - 1:01 am ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 15 (IANS) City giants East Bengal sparkled in the first half to cruise past leaders Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 in an I-League outing here Saturday. Syed Rahim Nabi netted a brace after Sunil Chhetri found the mark once for the winners while Harmanjot Khabra got the reducer for the visitors in the Salt Lake stadium game played under lights.
East Bengal shot ahead in the 13th minute when the redoubtable Yusif Yakubu latched on to a ball in the midfield and essayed a floater for Chhetri, who headed home giving no chance to Sporting goalkeeper Felix D’Souza.
East Bengal doubled the margin in the 26th minute with Sur Kumar addressing a cross into the box from the right wing and Nabi went for the kill after Mehtab Hossain shot over the ball.
The three time winners got a further cushion four minutes later as Chhetri addressed a measured through and Nabi made no mistake in putting the ball home.
The visitors regrouped in the second session and went on the offensive and succeeded in narrowing the margin in the 52nd minute. Khabra timed a perfect header to finish off an Obagbemiro Junior lob.
After eight rounds, Sporting remained atop the 12-team table with 18 points, but East Bengal jumped to the fourth spot, boosting their points tally to 12.
The hosts made good use of the wings, showed imagination in the midfield and for once managed to keep their tries on target as they raised the hopes of their large army of fans.
However, Sporting were unlucky not to have scored as early as the tenth minute when Junor’s rasping 30 yarder hit the woodwork and rebounded into play.