Robin brace sinks BFC

Football I-League : East Bengal drub defending champs 3-1 to go top

Robin brace sinks BFC

Many expected this to be a humdinger. It had all the ingredients to be one — table-toppers against the reigning champions, former fan-favourite lining up for the opponents and an opportunity to exact revenge for the away defeat. But on the evening, it turned out be a one-sided affair as East Bengal brushed aside Bengaluru FC 3-1 to regain their top spot in the I-league.

The Kolkata giants were pushed to the second spot after Aizawl FC, continuing their fantastic form, beat Chennai City FC earlier in the day. But that didn’t seem to bother East Bengal much as a goal from Wesdon Anselme (23rd minute) and Robin Singh (54th, 59th) ensured they were back on top with 24 points from 11 games. CK Vineeth was the other scorer at the Sree Kanteerava stadium, netting in the 85th minute to pull one back for the champions.

Up against the table toppers, Bengaluru needed to produce something very special. And they did try their bit in the initial few minutes. Udanta Singh was a headache for Ivan Bukenya on the right while Vineeth did his bit to keep Gurwinder Singh busy.

Bengaluru went close to testing TP Rehenesh in the East Bengal goal. Udanta found Vineeth with a delightful ball from the middle, but the striker drifted wide in an attempt to pull Rehenesh out, which allowed Gurwinder enough time to retract and avert the danger.

While Bengaluru made a hash of the chances they created, the visitors didn’t need a second invitation to open their account. It started with Bukenya sending Anselme on a free run down the right. The Haitian drove ahead, beat his marker, hood-winked Juan Gonzales by the penalty area and curled one around Sandesh Jhingan into the far corner to give East Bengal the lead.

Returning with a similar intent in the second half, East Bengal was in no mood to let Bengaluru settle into a rhythm. Playing to their plan, the Trevor Morgan side bossed a crowded midfield, with Anselme orchestrating the play. And it was no surprise at the ease with which they doubled their lead.

Robert Lalthlamuana was allowed acres of space on the left and Mizo full-back made the most of it to whip in a juicy cross for Robin. The target-man was not to miss that as he rose high to meet the ball with a clean header that flew past Arindam into the back of the net. A few minutes later, Robin was at the right place at the right time once again to tap in a Nikhil Poojary cross to put the result beyond doubt.
Meanwhile, Aizawl FC posted a 1-0 win over Chennai City FC, thanks to a solitary goal from Brandon Vanlalremdika in the 53rd minute in Aizawl.

Aizawl and East Bengal have 23 points from 11 matches but the latter are placed on top thanks to their better goal difference.

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