Ikenwa double powers Salgaocar

Salgaocar, who led 2-1 at half time, scored through Cajetan Fernandes (10th minute), Rouhollah Samienia (14th) and Ekene M Ikenwa (51st, 58th).

East Bengal, who are in danger of falling to the drop zone, fought back in both the halves but failed to score after creating quite a few chances.

However, the Kolkata side reduced the margin through Sanju Pradhan in the 27th minute.

The win takes Salgaocar to 21 points from 18 matches, same as East Bengal, but the red and yellow brigade is behind the Goan side in the 11th spot because of inferior goal difference.

Both the teams played at fast pace which saw lots of goal mouth action.
Salgaocar settled to rhythm early in the match with the forwardline and midfield linking well to make inroads into the rival half.

The hosts scored two goals in a span of four minutes to put the pressure on their opponents.

Following a free kick after Mehrajuddin Wadoo brought down Ekene on the left, hardworking Francis Fernandes floated the ball into the box which was headed in by Cajetan Fernandes in the 10th minute.

Four minutes later, Salgaocar were awarded another freekick when Wadoo brought down Keita on the left. Lestor Fernandes, who took the freekick, sent a shot which was diverted into the net by Rouhollah Samienia with a glancing header.

The early goals were a wake up call for the visitors, who regrouped and took control of the midfield. East Bengal made a series of moves and after Beingaichoo Bekhokhei wasted a couple of chances, reduced the margin in the 27th minute.

Bekhokhei deceived the rival defence and laid a pass to Sanju Pradhan who controlled the ball before unleashing a rasping drive to find the far post.

After the break, Salgaocar increased the lead in the 51st minute. Samienia sent a long cross from the left which Ekene Ikenwa headed into the net.

With pressure mounting, East Bengal created a couple of chances but Salgaocar keeper Chaubey stood well under the bar to deny Bekhokhei and Yakubu from scoring.

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