Prayag stun E Bengal; Big win for Churchill
East Bengal suffered their first loss in the I-League this season as Prayag United stunned them 1-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday.
The 11th round match saw a reversal of roles as Prayag regained their winning form ending a run of three successive losses. Nigerian goal-machine Ranty Martins found the winner late in the second half.
East Bengal had lost to the same opponent by the same margin in last season’s I-League meeting.
Looking to extend their unbeaten run in the tournament after the violence-marred abandonment of their 10th round match against arch-rival Mohun Bagan just a week ago, East Bengal could not put their plan to action as Prayag put on a more determined show.
In Margao, Bineesh Balan’s hat-trick spurred Churchill Brothers SC to a 8-4 win over Sporting Clube de Goa 8-4 at the Fatorda stadium.
Balan’s goals came in the 9th, 38th and 40th minutes while Henry Antouchet struck a brace in the second minute of first half stoppage time and 59th minute.
Roberto Mendes Da Silva also scored two goals in the 69th and 71st minutes while Akram Moghrabi completed the demolition netting in the 80th minute. Churchill Brothers now find themselves level on points with league leaders Dempo SC, but second on head-to-head, while Sporting are 11th in the standings with eight points.
In Pune, Air India were held to a 1-1 draw by Shillong Lajong at at the Balewadi Stadium.
For the Airmen, Souvik Chakraborty opened the scoring in the 69th minute with a header, with Boithang Haokip equalising for Lajong in the 85th minute.