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East Bengal do the double over Rangdajied

I-League: East Bengal Club v Rangdajied United FC

I-League: East Bengal Club v Rangdajied United FC

East Bengal Club defeated Rangdajied United FC 3-1 in a Round 22 encounter of the Airtel I-League at the Saltlake Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Edeh Chidi’s early penalty conversion was cancelled out by Rangdajied’s Ranti Martins but Reisangmi Vashum put the red-and-gold brigade back in front just before the interval and substitute Semilen Doungel sealed the points early in the second period.

The Kolkata giants beat Rangdajied in the away game also earlier in the season and this result moved them into the top six for a few hours at least while the Shillong club suffered their third straight away defeat.

It was end-to-end action in the opening stages as both sides looked for an early goal. East Bengal looked more dangerous though and won a penalty when Chidi was fouled by Lamine Tamba while attempting to get on the end of a Raju Gaikwad long throw.

Chidi stepped up to take the spotkick and successfully found the back of net after sending Rangdajied keeper TP Rehnesh the wrong way.

The visitors looked to respond quickly and nearly equalised when Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s overhead kick from a Steven Dias corner was cleared off the line by East Bengal defender Robert Lalthlamuana.

Rangdajied didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser though as at the half-hour mark Ranti headed home Dias’ well measured cross to score for the fourth straight game.

The goal gave Rangdajied momentum as they created a couple of openings with East Bengal custodian Abhijit Mondal coming out quickly and making crucial interventions.

In an interesting tactical change by Armando Colaco, James Moga replaced Ryuji Sueoka but Rangdajied ended the half strongly and had the ball in the back of the net again when Ranti connected to another quality Dias delivery. However the Nigerian was adjudged offside.

Then just before the halftime break, East Bengal took the lead as Vashum finished off a fine team move. Joaquim Abranches sent Chidi clean through on goal and the Nigerian did brilliantly to set up Vashum, who scored his first I-League goal of the season.

Moga got injured a few minutes after the restart and was replaced by young Doungel. The youngster scored with almost his first touch of the game to double East Bengal’s advantage as he latched on to a pass from Vashum and chipped over an onrushing Rehnesh.

The two-goal cushion saw East Bengal play the waiting game as Rangdajied dominated possession. The hosts then lost Doungel to a knock with Subodh Kumar coming on.

That change actually gave East Bengal’s defence more protection although Rangdajied could have pulled one back when substitute David Ngaihte found himself unmarked in the box but couldn’t hit the target.

The Shillong outfit eventually ran out of time as East Bengal held on for their seventh win of the campaign.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)