Cuttack: Defending champions East Bengal defeated HAL, Bangalore 2-1 while Pune FC beat Air India 2-0 in crucial Group-A matches of the Federation Cup football tournament here on Thursday.
East Bengal, despite conceding a goal to HAL in the eighth minute of play, bounced back to register their second consecutive win in the tournament.
HAL`s forward Jagaba Hanza Aba went past the famed East Bengal defenders and neatly hit the ball with awesome accuracy to the utter dismay of the viewers.
However, Orgy Penni Kenchokwo brought parity six minutes later followed by another goal by Tolgay Ozbey in the 34th minute.
As East Bengal led 2-1 during half time, HAL desperately tried to drew parity but their efforts went in vain.
For Pune FC, Resang Penne and Paresh Shivalkar scored goals in the third and 16th minutes respectively, showing the exit door to Air India.
In the inaugural match, East Bengal had defeated Air India 3-1 while Pune FC had lost to HAL on September 22.