Cleiton Silva finished a nice free-kick in the injury-time to help East Bengal beat Bengaluru FC 2-1 in a match week-12 fixture of ISL-9 at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Friday. The Brazilian striker, who put his side ahead with a penalty in the first half, ensured East Bengal’s first home win of the season. Javi Hernandez found the only reply for Bengaluru FC.
East Bengal tallied 12 points from 11 matches to overtake Bengaluru, which remained on 10 from 12, to the eighth in the current standings.
The first half saw box-to-box action, but neither sides could show the inventiveness to find the right finish. The first chance came for Bengaluru FC in the 26th minute when Javi set up Roy Krishna inside the East Bengal box. The Fijian found his attempt blocked by the East Bengal goalkeeper Suvam Sen. Krishna saw his shot landing on the side netting in the next opportunity coming Bengaluru’s way in the 35th minute.
East Bengal found its efforts rewarded in the 38th minute when the Bengaluru left-back Roshan Singh handled the ball inside his box, while trying to clear it ahead of the East Bengal forward V.P. Suhair. Cleiton found the net from the spot to give East Bengal the much-needed lead before the break.
The change of ends saw Bengaluru doubling its initiative in search of the equaliser, which came in the 55th minute off a counter-attack.
After Suhair had lost control of the ball, Bengaluru midfielder Pablo Perez took control and set up Krishna on the right. The Fijian cleared his marker and essayed a cutback cross for Javi, who buried the ball in the corner of the East Bengal net. Cleiton put the finishing touch in injury time with a brilliant free-kick that sneaked through the top angle of the framework.
With the players and the fans observing a minute’s silence in remembrance of the football’s biggest icon Pele, who passed away early in the day, just before the start, it was a good tribute from East Bengal’s Brazilian striker to fetch his team the win.
East Bengal 2 (Cleiton 39-pen, 90+2) bt Bengaluru FC 1 (Javi 55).