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East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan

Source: PTI
April 24, 2005 18:27 IST
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Title aspirants East Bengal reclaimed the top spot in the ninth National Football League, thanks to a late strike by medio Syed Rahim Nabi that helped them beat archrivals Mohun Bagan by a solitary goal in Kolkata on Sunday.

After finishing goalless in the opening half, East Bengal surged ahead through Nabi in the 75th minute of the well-contested game to cull full points before a sizeable crowd at the Salt Lake stadium.

With this victory, East Bengal, closely followed by Sporting Clube de Goa and Dempo Sports Club, retained their position atop the league table with 39 points from 18 outings.

Bagan, on the other hand, slipped into the relegation zone with 18 points from 19 outings and may find it tough to survive a drop.

The game began on a high note with both teams raiding each other's territory in search of a goal before slowing down the pace towards the end of the first session.

Desperate for a win, East Bengal upped their ante after the break and finally scored the winner in the 75th minute.

Skipper Alvito D'Cunha, who had a brilliant day in the field, did the spadework on the right.

Fed by substitute Dipankar Roy, Alvito foxed Tomba Singh and essayed a left-footed cross across the Bagan box.

Bagan defender Eduwardo Chacon missed the flight and as the ball was going out of play, Nabi dashed in from the left and headed home almost unmarked, past a helpless Bagan keeper Subrata Pal.

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