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 April 11, 2002 | 2010 IST

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Dipendu Biswas nets winner for East Bengal

Defending champions East Bengal, out of the title race, improved their chances of a top six finish after edging past a fighting F C Kochin 1-0 in the penultimate round of the sixth National Football League in Kochi on Wednesday.

Substitute striker Dipendu Biswas came to the rescue of the holders with a goal in the 75th minute that sealed the fate of the match.

With the victory, the Kolkata giants accumulated 35 points while the Kerala outfit remained at 17 points.

. East Bengal could have won by a bigger margin but for some brilliant goalkeeping by Ghanian recruit Ali Abubacker, who showed excellent anticipation to thwart atleast four sure chances.

East Bengal's Brazilian recruit Jose Carlos paved the way for the all-important goal. He took possession of the ball, cut past a couple of defenders and sent in a neat square pass into the penalty area to an unmarked Dipendu, who beat Abubacker with a grounder to his right.

The local outfit made a valiant attempt in the dying moments of the game for the equaliser, but the strong East Bengal defence thwarted their attempts confidently.

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