East Bengal down Chirag United 2-1 in I-League
Kolkata: A spirited East Bengal rode
Beingaichho Beiokhokhei`s double strike to register a 2-1 win
over Chirag United in their round 24 I-League clash at the
Yuba Bharati Krirangan here today.
After a dull start to the match with captain Syed Rahim
Nabi and Yusif Yakubu missed opportunities, East Bengal scored
through man-of-the-match Beiokhokhei in the 40th and 67th
Chirag United`s midfield, which could not control the
pace of the game, managed to reduce the margin through
Joshimar Martins in the 69th minute.
The victory enabled the Kolkata stalwarts to climb to the
eighth spot and scamper out of the drop zone with 28 points
from 22 matches.
Chirag United, on the other hand, remained on 32 points,
with two matches remaining. They are now winless for seven
matches on the trot.
Playing without their star striker Bhaichung Bhutia, who
is out because of recurrence of an injury, East Bengal got an
early opportunity in the fifth minute when a Beiokhokhei shot
was deflected by goal-tender Sandip Nandy which found Yakubu
but the Ghanaian could hit the post. In a 15th minute counter-attack, Chirag`s Edmilson had a
solo run from the midfield but the Brazilian`s half-hearted
effort was not enough.
Three minutes later, captain Nabi too squandered an easy
chance as the stalemate continued. Chirag also muffed an
opportunity in the 28th minute when Ashim Biswas failed to
utilise a Gouranga Dutta centre.
Soon after, East Bengal players demanded a penalty as
Chirag`s R Dhanarajan handled the ball in the box but referee
Pradeep Kumar remained unmoved.
But 10 mintues later, the fans erupted in celebration
when Beiokhokhei finished a Sanju Pradhan cross from the left
to put the Kolkata team 1-0 ahead.
Sanju`s cross was brilliantly intercepted by Yakubu near
the post as the Ghanaian set it up for Beiokhokhei, who
converted it with a sharp right footer.
After the change of ends, Chirag came across a chance in
the 61st minute following a Joshimar move from the midfield
but an alert Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, East Bengal custodian,
averted any damage.
Beiokhokhei made it 2-0 for East Bengal when he latched
on to a loose ball and found the net.
Chirag pulled one back two minutes later when a through
pass from Denson Devdas helped Joshimar to reduce the margin.