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East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan 2-0, climb up to top slot

Source: PTI
December 08, 2002 20:27 IST
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Title aspirants East Bengal shot up to the top of the chart prevailing over defending champions Mohun Bagan 2-0 in an enthralling National Football League encounter in Kolkatta on Sunday.

After a barren first half, Subhasish Roychowdhury and Alvito D'Counha struck for the winners who have still to lose in the tournament; they now have 12 points from four matches and are yet to concede a goal.

East Bengal dominated the  Salt Lake Stadium outing, particularly in the second half, as Bagan clearly suffered for the absence of injured Nigerian forward George Ekeh, while star striker Baichung Bhutia, who was still suffering the effects off a calf problem, had to be taken away in the later session.

90,000 football fans packed the stadium for a match, between the two giants of Indian football, which never rose to expected levels though there were flashes of individual brilliance and brief periods of end-to-end football. 

East Bengal were accurate with their passes and kept control of the midfield throughout the match. Their new Brazilian striker, Gilmar da Silva Gonsalves, gave ample evidence of his talent exhibiting good ball control and speed.

The red and yellow brigade went ahead in the 70th minute when D'Counha's floating corner from the right eluded Bagan defenders and custodian Rajat Ghosh Dastidar and Roy Chowdhury headed in.

They scored again in injury time as D'Counha took a snap left footer into the far corner of the net following a pass from the right.

Bagan remain on six points from five matches.

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