Pune: Strong contenders East Bengal suffered a major jolt in their I-league campaign losing 1-2 to Pune FC at the Balewadi Sports complex on Monday.
The result puts East Bengal on 41 points from 20 matches, five points behind present League leaders Salgaocar SC who sit pretty at the top with 46 points from as many.
East Bengal did start on a bright note with Ugba Opkara giving them the lead in the 18th minute. A Sushant Mathews corner was headed by Rahim Nabi to Opkara, whose snap shot bulged the net.
Pune FC restored parity 12 minutes later through Mandjou Keita. Following a lob from the midfield, East Bengal custodian Sandip Nandy was slow to leave his line and Keita lobbed it over to make it one-all.
East Bengal did enjoy more of the possession but their defence let them down. The duo of Subhas Singh and Keita created havoc in the EB defence almost at will.
The final nail in the coffin was struck by S Venkatesh. Following a defensive lapse, the former India skipper tapped in from close to give Pune FC valuable three points.
Courtsey the victory, they now move to 7th place with 26 points from 21 matches.