East Bengal beat Mumbai FC 1-0 in I-League

East Bengal beat Mumbai FC 1-0 in I-League

Yusif Yakubu converted a penalty in the 60th minute to help East Bengal register their first win after seven matches in the I-League, even as India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia made a comeback from his injury lay-off playing the last 17 minutes.

East Bengal thus averted the danger of relegation with the three points from the victory taking the red-and-gold brigade to eighth place on the 14-team standings.
The city giants now have 24 points from 20 matches, while Mumbai FC (21 points from 20 matches) remained on the 12th spot with relegation threat looming large.

With both the teams desperate for a win, East Bengal made a poor start and continued with their poor form. There were missed chances, lack of coordination as they failed to score in the first 45 minutes.

Picked in the starting line-up, Alvito D'Cunha did not have his share of luck, while skipper Syed Rahim Nabi did not have his coordination going with Yakubu as he too wasted a few chances with no goal from East Bengal's attack.

It was in the 27th minute of the first-half, when East Bengal missed a sitter with Yakubu messing up an easy chance.The Ghanaian striker was in a one-on-one situation but only to miss the target to see the stalemate prevailing.

But after the changeover, East Bengal regrouped and dished out a more organised performance.Just when it seemed that East Bengal will have to settle for a goalless draw, a penalty did the trick. It was in the 58th minute when Kamaljeet Kumar brought down Abel Hammond inside the box and East Bengal were awarded a penalty.
This time, Yakubu was spot-on, converting the penalty to see East Bengal go 1-0 up.
Philippe de Ridder brought on India captain Bhutia in place of Beingaichho Beiokhokhei in the 73rd minute as East Bengal intensified their attack but they could not find the target further to settle for a 1-0 result.

Bhutia thus made a return having played his last match against Mahindra United in a I-League match on March 13 after which he pulled a hamstring muscle.
Mehtab Hossain was adjudged Man of the Match.