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East Bengal crush Tollygunge 5-0

Source: PTI
February 15, 2005 18:11 IST
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Title-holders East Bengal continued their awesome run decimating Tollygunge Agragami 5-0 in a completely one-sided ninth National Football League exchange in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Leading 1-0 at the breather, the winners pumped in four more goals during a second half blitz to clinch their sixth consecutive victory and consolidate their position atop the table with 20 points from eight outings.

Star striker Bhaichung Bhutia, who seems determined to give a befitting reply to all his detractors, struck a brace while Climax Lawrence and Chandan Das scored apiece in the second session after Shylo Malsawmtluanga gave the red and yellow brigade an early lead in the Salt Lake stadium match.

East Bengal controlled the proceedings from the start, carrying on a series of raids into the opponent territory in the early minutes, but slowed down the game in the opening half after taking the lead.

Tollygunge, who remained on 10 points after eight games, tried to go on the counter intermittently in the first 45 minutes but their attacks lacked sting as they failed to push the extra man forward during their moves.

East Bengal were all over their opponents in the second half as Bhutia played a stellar role upfront combining his lethal scoring ability with superb game making skills.

East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick utilised the game to give the much-needed exposure to his reserve bench players and the starting line up featured only indigenous players with Jeremiah coming in as the first foreigner in the 33rd minute as a substitute for an injured Malsawmtluanga.

The winners shot into the lead in the 13th minute when following a low centre from Dipankar Roy, Malsawmtluanga netted with a flying header which entered the goal near the second post.

The scoreline became 2-0 in the 53rd minute as East Bengal increased the pressure and Climax scored his fifth goal in the league by outjumping two Tollygunge defenders to head home a Chandan Das flag kick.

Tollygunge suffered another setback four minutes later with Bhutia setting up Chandan Das with a fine pass and the medio tapping in from close giving no chance to Tollygunge goalkeeper Sudip Sarkar.

Continuing in the attack mode, East Bengal widened the lead in the 66th minute as Bhutia fired a rasping right footer with the outstep of his boot from the top of the box.

Bhutia stole the show ten minutes hence latching on to a short pass from Chandan Das and pushed the ball into the net dodging past rival defender Kabijit Khotel and goalkeeper Sarkar to push his goal tally in the current edition of the league to six.

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