East Bengal edge out Sporting

East Bengal kept their I-League title hopes afloat with a 2-1 win over Sporting Clube de Goa in a round 23 fixture at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.

Super sub Baljit Sahni gave a sloppy looking East Bengal the lead at the stroke of half-time, while Lalrindika Ralte gave a two-goal cushion with a lucky 65th minute goal.

East Bengal could have easily moe goals to their tally but Ralte and Sahni wasted opportunities.

The Goans were no better as they too squandered many chances before Beevan D’Mello reduced the margin in the 90th minute but it was too little too late as the loss has diminished their chances of winning the title.  

The home side’s win lifted them to fourth place with 31 points from 19 games – seven points below Bengaluru FC but they have two games on hand. Sporting have 29 points from 20 matches. 

East Bengal began with Edeh Chidi upfront and Ryuji Sueoka behind against a defensive looking away side who had a packed midfield.

East Bengal were also lucky with their second goal – Ralte’s 20 yard effort was headed to the keeper Melroy Fernandes before a deflection from Chinta Rao wrong-footed him. 

Massive win

Meanwhile at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, Mumbai FC hung on 2-1 to claim a massive three points as they look to escape the clutches of relegation. 

After Cornell Glen (19th) had given hosts Shillong Lajong the lead, Alfred  Jaryan levelled for the visitors in first-half injury time before Ashutosh Mehta scored what ultimately proved to be the winning goal in the 50th minute. 

With the victory, the away side have 24 points from 21 outings – six ahead of Mohammedan Sporting who occupy the basement position.

Shillong have 29 points from the same number of games. 

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