East Bengal stay in hunt

East Bengal stay in hunt

The win meant East Bengal’s maiden I-League title hope remained afloat with 47 points from 22 matches, while Dempo remained on 44 from the same number of matches.
Ranti Martins (6th minute) gave the three-time league champions the lead and struck their second goal through a penalty by Roberto Mendes Silva in the 10th minute of injury time of the second half.

East Bengal were reduced to nine players when Nirmal Chhetri was shown a second red card. East Bengal defender Gurwinder Singh was earlier sent off in the 69th minute. In an eventful second half that was stretched by more than 10 minutes, East Bengal scored through Baljit Singh Sahni (47th) and Tolgay Ozbey (49th, 57th) as they were reduced to nine players.

In Delhi, Salgaocar kept their title hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over Indian Arrows. Ryuji Sueoka struck in the 22nd and 62nd minutes with Cajetan Fernandes scoring the other, two minutes from time. Arrows got their consolation goal via Holicharan Narzary in the 79th minute.

JCT came from two goals down to hold Chirag United 2-2. Rahul Kumar (53rd) and Gurtej Singh (59th) struck in the space of six second-half minutes to give the Punjab side a crucial point. Josimar Da Silva (28th, 35th) scored both goals for Chirag. In Balewadi, Pune FC and Mumbai played out a 1-1 draw with Subhash Singh scoring for the home side in the 65th minute and Ebi Sukore equalising in the 85th.

Matches to be deferred
The last-round matches of the I-League, scheduled for May 29, are set to be deferred by a few days after defending champions Dempo’s qualification to the pre-quarterfinals of the AFC Cup.

Dempo play away to Iraqi club Duhok on May 24 a last-16 AFC Cup match, necessitating a change in the fixtures of the last three I-League matches invloving the Goan side.
According to the original schedule, Dempo play HASC on May 23, take on Pune FC three days later and face Air India in the final round on May 29.