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 March 21, 2002 | 1930 IST

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Churchill beat East Bengal,
move to the top

A late goal by defender Osumanu Husseni helped Zee Churchill beat defending champions East Bengal 1-0 and move to the top of the league standings in the Tata National Football League, in Margao, Goa, on Thursday.

After a barren first half, Churchill put pressure on the rival defence and scored the all-important goal in the 81st minute through defender Husseni's header, off a cross from Sayed Amin Mousavi from the left.

East Bengal had won the first leg match in Kolkata by a similar margin.

East Bengal, who held the upper hand in the first half, held a territorial edge over their rivals and created more scoring chances, but were unable to capitalise on the chances that came their way.

Medio Dipankar Roy was the worst offender as he missed two sitters in the second half.

With this win, Churchill moved on par with the Mohun Bagan, on 32 points from 16 matches, but head the table on a superior goal difference. However, they have played a match less than the Kolkata giants.

East Bengal, who suffered their eighth defeat, remain in eighth position with 23 points from 17 matches.

Zee Churchill were reduced to ten men four minutes before the final whistle as striker Abdul Saley received his second booking from referee Walter Pereira after he tripped Tushar Rakshit from behind.

Referee Walter also showed yellow cards to Churchill's Sameer Naik and East Bengal's Dipak Kumar Mondal.

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