East Bengal suffered their fourth straight defeat at the hands of DSK Shivajians by a solitary goal in an I-League encounter at the Barasat Stadium here on Sunday.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga scored in the 29th minute to hand the Pune-based side the lead. The second half saw the hosts create a lot of chances but fail to equalise, denting their title aspirations further.
The result leaves them at third place with 27 points from 16 games. With the victory, Shivajians moved up a rung to seventh garnering 17 points in 16 outings.
East Bengal made five changes to the side that lost to Mohun Bagan 1-2.
T.P. Rehenesh, Robert Lalthlamuana, Romeo Fernandes, Willis Plaza (suspended) and Wedson Anselme made way for Subhashish Roy CHowdhury in goal, Jackichand Singh, Bikash Jairu, Chris Payne and Robin Singh in the starting eleven.
Shivajians were unchanged.
After starting the better side, the visitors took the lead when Juan Quero crossed for Jerry who was unmarked and headed in with ease.
East Bengal could have levelled in the 33rd minute but veteran goalkeeper Subrata Paul made two double saves to deny Rowlin Borges and Bikash Jairu.
At halftime, the Dave Rogers coached side led 1-0. After the break, East Bengal were guilty of spurning a raft of chances with substitute Chris Payne coming close twice.
Substitute Wedson Anselme saw his low drive saved as well by Paul who looked in imperious form under the bar.
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