Robin helps East Bengal beat Bengaluru 2-1 in I-League

Barasat (West Bengal), Jan 22 (IANS) Striker Robin Singh scored the winning goal against his former club as East Bengal ended defending champions Bengaluru FC’s winning start to the I-League football tournament in a 2-1 victory here on Sunday.

In-form forward C.K. Vineeth opened the scoring, putting Bengaluru ahead in the 23rd minute. East Bengal defender Ivan Bukenya equalised in the 28th minute.

Second-half substitute Robin Singh netted the game-clincher in the 79th minute to take the Kolkata giants to second place on the points table, with 10 points from four matches. Bengaluru remained on nine points from as many matches, at the third spot.

It was East Bengal’s third consecutive win of the season, snapping Bengaluru’s run of three consecutive victories.

Vineeth shot Bengaluru to the lead after Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s run down the left flank was perfectly cut back into his path. Vineeth neatly put the ball past East Bengal goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh.

But East Bengal needed just five minutes to reach draw level when Bukenya caught the Bengaluru defence off-guard and turned in a low corner to make it 1-1.

Tempers flared when Bengaluru captain Sunil Chhetri was brought down by East Bengal midfielder Mehtab Hossain, earning him a yellow card.

The match was tied at 1-1 at halftime.

East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan introduced striker Robin Singh, in his second stint at the Kolkata club, for an ineffective Ildar Amirov.

The change seemed to work as the former Bengaluru man drew Amrinder Singh into a save, hit the crossbar and slid in a delightful cross that team-mate Willis Plaza Plaza, with an open goal at his mercy, missed completely.

Robin capitalised on a lapse in defence to make it 2-1. An error in judgment saw the ball skid off John Johnson’s head and fall on to the path of Robin’s run. The striker made no mistake as he slotted calmly into the net.

Bengaluru threw everything they had at a stubborn East Bengal defence as shots from Chhetri and Vineeth were saved by Rehenesh.

In another match, hosts Mumbai FC wre beaten 0-1 by Aizawl FC at the Cooperage Ground in Mumbai.

Mahmoud Al Amenah scored the winning goal in the 79th minute.

–IANS

sam/nir

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