Kolkata: A lucky East Bengal on Sunday rode on Tolgay Ozbey`s strike to record a 1-0 win over defending champions Salgaocar and climb to the second position in the I-League.
East Bengal`s win in the return-leg fixture at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here had its share of controversies, with two refereeing decisions going against the Goans.
Thanks to the 54th-minute strike, East Bengal are now second behind Dempo with 38 points.
The red-and-gold brigade are eight points behind the leaders, with five more matches remaining in the fifth season of I-League.
East Bengal fluffed two chances in the beginning of each half when Baljit Singh Sahni (8`) and Ozbey (49`) failed to put the ball in an open net.
As far Salgaocar were concerned, luck deserted them on more than one occasions.
Tamil Nadu referee C R Srikrishna failed to spot a handball by Raju Gaikwad inside the box, denying the Goans a clear penalty in the 69th minute.
In the 87th minute, Salgaocar scored from a goalmouth melee, but the referee thought otherwise in another dubious decision.
East Bengal took the lead when Man of the Match Robin Singh`s centre was headed in Ozbey.
East Bengal dominated proceedings in the second half with attacking moves.
There was a notable goalline save by East Bengal substitute Subodh Kumar who denied Salgaocar substitute Rino Anto in the 78th minute.
Baljit had a lacklustre outing and displayed little coordination with his striking partner Ozbey.