Chenedu brace powers Vasco
Emmanuel found the target in the 68th and 77th minutes of the match at the Bangalore Football Stadium as Vasco joined Mumbai Tigers and Southern Samity at the top of the table with 13 points.
Vasco have played six games while Tigers and Samity have the advantage of a match in hand against relatively lowly opponents — Hindustan FC and Luangmual FC respectively.
Kalighat stayed on nine points and are out of the reckoning after today’s defeat. But the Kolkata outfit had the better of exchanges in the first-half, though the Indrajit Mitra-coached side failed to open the account.
In the 19th minute, James Gbilee had a clear-cut chance but he fired a right footer wide from inside the penalty box on the right. Soon after that, Iyikwobe Chiziba Christopher had his left-footer saved by goalkeeper Debasish Das.
Needing a win to stay in contention, Vasco came out in the second-half with a lot of purpose. And the Goans almost scored when a Mario Masceranhas volley off a corner from Murali J went just wide in the 50th.
Vasco put more pressure through the flanks and it didn’t take too long for the Subrata Bhattacharya-coached side to break the deadlock. Emmanuel came up with a diving header after being fed by Babatunde John on the left to open the scoring.
The Nigerian was again in the thick of action when he crashed a header into the crossbar with Masceranhas being the supplier from the right.
Emmanuel made it 2-0 when he placed a through pass from Babatunde to the left of custodian Souvik Mondal.
Substitute Krishanu Das made it 2-1 in injury time with a powerful right-footer that left Das stranded. There was still a chance for Kalighat to equalise but an unmarked Reisangpemmi Kasomwoshi shot wide from inside the box.
Sunday’s matches: Southern Samity vs Luangmual FC (1.30 pm); South United FC vs Eagles FC (4.00 pm).