Centenary club East Bengal returned to winning ways in I-League with a 3-1 win over Indian Arrows at the Cooperage Stadium on Monday. Jamie Santos Colado, Asheer Akhtar and Didika Ralte scored for the Red and Golds while Vikram Partap scored his fourth goal of the ongoing I-League after missing a penalty to get his side on the scoresheet. The result helped East Bengal get out of the relegation zone and climb to the sixth position with 15 points from 12 games. The Arrows continued to remain rooted at the bottom with eight points from 12 games.
East Bengal took an early lead when a long ball from their own half was headed down by Spaniard Marcos Espada onto the path of his countryman Colado, who unleashed a powerful left-footed volley that beat goalkeeper Lalbiakhula Jongte and went into the goal in the fourth minute.
The Venkatesh-coached side had a chance to be back into the game just 30 seconds into the second half when Abhash Thapa handled the ball off a Nikhil Raj shot inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot but Vikram Partap shot wide.
However, Partap made amends in the 54th minute when he stole the ball off defender Asheer Akhtar’s feet with a brave header and followed up with a composed finish past Mawia Ralte in the East Bengal goal.
Their joy was shortlived as the visitors struck twice off as many corners within a space of four minutes to put things beyond Arrows’ reach. The first corner was floated in by Brandon and Samad Mallick came running into the near post to deflect a header towards the path of Asheer Akhtar. The diminutive defender made no mistake with the connection for his first goal of the season.
The second corner was taken by Colado. This time, Didika Ralte placed himself on the first post and rose higher than his marker to lodge a powerful header past a hapless Jongte.
East Bengal will now travel to Imphal to face TRAU on February 23, whereas Indian Arrows will take on Real Kashmir in Srinagar a day later.