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East Bengal beat Fransa Pax 2-0

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January 26, 2006 00:33 IST

Bhaichung Bhutia sparkled as three-time winners East Bengal went atop the table getting past Fransa Pax of Goa 2-0 in a ONGC Cup 10th National Football League exchange in Kolkata on Wednesday.

The nimble-footed striker not only warmed the hearts of his countless admirers by scoring the second goal displaying mesmerising ball control, but also set up the first, netted by Nigerian forward Mike Okoro, to bolster East Bengal's points tally to eight from four outings.

With Bhutia and Okoro drumming up a good combination, East Bengal dominated the show, repeatedly causing danger in the Fransa defence during the exciting fast-paced game at the Salt Lake stadium.

Man-of-the-match Bhutia was at his vintage best, as the Fransa rearguards seemed all at sea in measuring up to his thrust and speed.

East Bengal went ahead as early as the eighth minute. The nippy Bhutia did the spadework from the left and crossed to Mike Okoro, who unleashed a prompt header on the run, and ball went into a corner of the net after kissing the post.

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Fransa tried to stage a comeback into the match in the second session, but Bhutia sealed the issue for his side in the 82nd minute. Receiving a ball from S Malswamtluanga, Bhutia wove magic on the top of the Fransa box, outwitting three defenders with his deft footwork, before sending the ball in.

The goal apparently sapped all the energy of the Goans for a fightback, as they remained on two points from four outings.

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