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I-League: East Bengal keep title hopes alive with 1-0 win over Minerva

IANS  |  Panchkula (Haryana) 

Heavyweights East Bengal kept their title hopes alive with an important 1-0 victory over surprise league leaders FC in a highly anticipated encounter at the Tau Stadium here on Tuesday.

Seasoned scored the winner in the 60th minute as East Bengal, who had to win in order to stay afloat, cut the gap on Minerva to three points.

Third-placed East Bengal now have 26 points with Minerva remaining on 29. Both the outfits have four matches remaining with second-placed Neroca FC playing one match more and on 28 points.

East Bengal, who are yet to win the I-League, play their next four games against relegation threatened teams Gokulam FC (February 17) and FC (Feb 24) followed by Neroca (Feb 27) and Shillong Lajong (March 3).

The home team, bolstered by the arrival of who jumped ship from East Bengal, made one change to their starting line up from the last game. replaced left-back

Khalid Jamil, meanwhile, ringed in three changes from their last outing. Star was back from injury, much to the fans' relief and replaced Ansumana Kromah.

Arnab Mondal made a comeback too replacing inexperienced Mehtab Singh and Yami Longvah, making his debut for the club, took Joby Justin's place.

The first half saw no goals with Longvah failing to convert from one on one situation in the 33rd minute after Dudu Omagbemi set the debutant up inside the box.

Longvah was replaced by Kromah three minutes later as both teams went into into the break locked goalless.

In the second half, East Bengal appealed vehemently for a penalty when defender handled the ball inside the box from Salam Ranjan Singh's cross.

The visitors took the lead through Lobo who unleashed a long distance venomous strike into the top corner of the net.

Minerva tried hard to draw level but Ubaid CK made some smart saves towards the end of the game.



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

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 17:06 IST