East Bengal rout Arrows 4-1
Kolkata: East Bengal returned to winning ways in an emphatic fashion, thrashing minnows Pailan Arrows 4-1 in their return leg I-League fixture at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Tuesday.
After Penn Orji had opened the scoring for East Bengal in the 27th minute, Tolgay Ozbey struck twice in the 30th and 76th minutes, while another was scored by Robert Lalthlamuana.
The consolation goal for the Arrows was scored by stopper-back Prathamesh Maulingkar in 60th minute.
With this win East Bengal moved to 30 points from 15 matches eyeing the pole position in the standings, while the AIFF developmental outfit remained low with seven from 14 outings.
Desperate for a win to keep their title aspirations alive, East Bengal began on an aggressive note and Penn almost gave them a second minute lead from a corner but the Nigerian`s shot went over the crosspiece.
The red-and-gold brigade continued with their raids but the Arrows put up a defensive approach to hold up till Penn gave the crucial first goal.
The goal resulted from a Sanju Pradhan shot which was saved by rival goalkeeper Naveen Kumar but Penn was lurking from behind as he headed it in from the rebound.
The Arrows defence got a twin blow in three minutes when Ozbey`s powerful left-footer from a Penn pass went in touching the goalkeeper`s body.
Down 0-2 at halftime, the Arrows did not give any threat to East Bengal in a complete mismatch of sorts.
Penn was again instrumental in giving East Bengal a commanding 3-0 lead when he cleverly passed the ball to Robert Lalthlamuana, who came in out of nowhere to score the third goal.
Three minutes later, the Arrows pulled one back when Maulingkar headed in a Prabir Das corner as East Bengal goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh faltered this time after saving three attempts.
But that was the only goal by the Arrows camp as Ozbey easily notched his brace putting the ball in an empty after a judgmentally error by the Arrows goalkeeper.
Ozbey was adjudged man of the match.
Morgan brought in their latest recruit Edmilson in the last 21 minutes and the Brazilian came close to scoring before Naveen thwarted his attempt.