Kolkata: East Bengal continued their winning march thrashing Pune FC 3-1 in a fifth round I-League encounter at the floodlit Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
East Bengal thus recorded a hat-trick of victories and are now on 10 points, with three wins, one draw and a defeat while the visitors remained on five points after two successive defeats, one draw and a win.
Nirmal Chhetri put the last year`s runners-up ahead in the 43rd minute but Pune FC brought the game on an even keel with a Lester Fernandes goal at the stroke of interval.
But East Bengal snatched the lead back when Australian forward Tolgay Ozbey struck in the 65th minute before substitute Alan Gow settled the score in an 87th minute strike.
With their inspirational playmaker Mehtab Hussain still missing from the starting line-up, East Bengal controlled the midfield proceedings as they had the better of the ball possession.
Pune FC who are without their star goalkeeper Subrata Paul (injury) received a jolt early into the start when makeshift custodian Shahinlal Meloly had to be replaced with Amrinder Singh following a clash with Baljit Singh Sahni of East Bengal.
But luck favoured Pune FC early on when referee overlooked a Chika Wali handball from an Ozbey shot inside Pune FC box.
But it did not took long for East Bengal to take the lead when Chhetri`s rightfooter took Amrinder by surprise as it went in without any fuss.
Pune FC struck back cashing in one rare defensive lapse by East Bengal when Fernandes capitalised on a Douhou Pierre pass before finding the back of the net.
First Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2011, 21:46