Table-toppers East Bengal thrashed low-lying Chennai City FC 3-0 in the seventh round game of I-League courtesy goals from Wedson, Plaza and Ralte.
In a game where two teams were separated greatly by the class of their players. East Bengal stamped their authority on the minnows to make sure they do not lose ground in the title race. All the three goals came in the second half as the Red and Gold front-line seemed to be wasteful in the first essay.
Looking at the starting line-up, Trevor James Morgan was forced to bring in box-to-box midfielder in place of suspended Mehtab Hussain. On the other hand, Chennai City FC showed their inability of finalizing their set squad even after six rounds as Robin Charles Raja made four changes to his line-up, bringing in Debabrata Roy, Denson Devadas, Dharmaraj Ravanan and Dhanpal Ganesh.
Coming back to the match, Nikhil Poojary got the first chance of the game in the seventh minute when Wedson sent him clear with a through ball but the youngster sent his effort over the bar as deadlock remained unaffected. In the 18th minute, striker Robin Singh headed over a Rahul Bheke cross after some slick passing between Haitian and Poojary.
Chennai City seemed to have been lost in the aura of the Kolkata giants as Vinicius and Charles could not produce anything substantial. The last chance of the half again came the home side’s way, with Wills Plaza being the guilty of heading over a Narayan Das cross this time.
Rejuvenated EB tear apart Chennai in second half
Looking at the first half, it was clear the goal was around the corner and it just took five minutes into the second half for Wedson Anseleme to open the scoring. Captain Lalrindika Ralte’s lob from 23-yards was perfectly placed in to the net by the Haitian.
With deadlock broken, Wills Plaza too put on his scoring boot, clinically finishing a beautiful ball by Wedson to double the lead. If that was not enough, skipper Ralte scored the third in the injury time to compound Chennai misery.
Substitute Thangsokiem Haokip was brought down inside the box by Anyichie Echezona and referee Rahul Gupta was forced to award a penalty. Ralte made no mistake and the Kolkata crowd now had the license to celebrate.
Chennai City FC did create some interesting moves, but none of them were accompanied by the killer instinct to get it recorded on the score board.
The victory came as a vital shot in the arm for East Bengal ahead of the Kolkata derby against Mariners, taking them to 19 points from seven games and three clear of Bagan, who have a game in hand.
On the other hand, Raja would be left infuriated as the performance of his wards not being able to produce desired results. They lie at the bottom with four points from seven encounters and they will have to come up with something special to avoid relegation.
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