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I-League: East Bengal beat Neroca 2-1, stay in title race

IANS  |  Kolkata 

City football giants East Bengal remained firmly in title contention by recording a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Neroca FC in a crunch encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Thursday.

Mexican striker (67th, 86th minutes) scored a pair of goals in the space of 19 second-half minutes to turn the tables on the visitors, who had taken the lead through debutant Chencho Gyeltshen in the third minute.

East Bengal (28 points), who are now four points behind league leaders Real (32 points), take on the debutants at home on Sunday in a bid to cut the gap to one point and with two games in hand.

East Bengal's Spanish fielded an unchanged side which had defeated arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in their last match. Manuel Retamero, on the other hand, made six changes in the Neroca ranks that had defeated Indian Arrows 3-2 in their last game.

Debutant Chencho, on loan from heavyweights Bengaluru FC, broke the deadlock as early as in the third minute.

From a Yusa Katsumi corner, initially failed to grip the ball and Lalrindika Ralte accidentally passed the ball to Chencho, who pushed it into the net.

Jolted by the early setback, the red and golds created several chances but and failed to convert their chances.

In the second half, East Bengal were desperate for the equaliser as the made all three substitutions in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Enrique Esqueda, and replaced Antonio Dovale, and respectively.

Neroca sat back and defended in numbers as Esqueda started making inroads, and finally got the goal with a clinical header from Jaime Santos Colado's cross.

East Bengal's persistence in the attacking third paid-off as Enrique scored the winning goal with yet another header. Brandon found Samad on the right edge of the penalty, who curled a cross in front of the goal. The Mexican headed the ball in from the pinpoint cross.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 20:34 IST