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East Bengal overcome Salgaocar

December 15, 2002 20:40 IST
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Kolkata soccer giants East Bengal returned to the victory trail as they got the better of a fighting Salgaocar from Goa 2-1 in the National Football League match, at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.

East Bengal, who had in their last match shared points with other Goan outfit -- Churchill Brothers --, went into the lead in the 21st minute through Brazilian striker Gilmer, while Nigerian forward Oman Mcpierson restored parity for Salgaocar in the 27th minute into the second-half.

The red and yellow brigade finally managed to earn full points when striker Mike Okoro found the target during injury time.

With this victory, league leaders East Bengal stay at the top with 16 points from six matches, while Salgaocar have seven points after six games.

After losing points for the first time in their last outing, East Bengal went on an all-out attack right after the kick-off, with forwards Gilmer and Alvito D'Cunha moving in tandem to fashion their attacks. Salgaocar, who took little time to settle down, also made counter attacks, with their striker Sunday Seah making most of the moves.

East Bengal, however, did not have to wait much to take the lead as their Brazilian striker displayed his class to put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute. Collecting the ball from D'Cunha, off Mike Okoro, Gilmer released a sudden blockbuster, which bulged the net, beating Goan keeper Juje Siddi hands down (1-0).

East Bengal had another chance to increase their lead but medio Sasti Duley wasted an easy opportunity seven minutes later.

Earlier, in the 25th minute, East Bengal custodian Sandeep Nandy smartly held a powerful shot, unleashed by Salgaonar defender Monitomba Singh.

The second-half saw the visitors starting with renewed vigour, making a series of attacks till they forced the equaliser in the 72nd minute through their substitute striker Oman McPierson (1-1).

After conceding their first goal in NFL this season, East Bengal went for another goal and their coach Bhowmick replaced medio Venkatesh with Malswamtlunga and Alvito D'Cunha with Kuluthungan, which paid good dividends.

East Bengal almost regained the lead again seven minutes before the close, but Mike Okoro wasted the easiest of chances, failing to beat the lone Salgaocar keeper from close. However, he made amends for his lapse and beautifully netted the match-winner with a prompt shot following a defence-splitting pass from Malswamtlunga (2-1).

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Source: source