East Bengal rides Robin Singh's brace to beat Chennai City FC

East Bengal registered its first win in the ongoing Federation Cup when the side defeated Chennai City FC 2-0 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha on Tuesday.

Birthday boy Robin Singh celebrates after scoring the first goal.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Amidst exhaustion, cramps and water breaks on a hard surface, Robin Singh's brace helped East Bengal beat Chennai City FC 2-0 in a Group A match and record its first win in the Federation Cup football tournament at the Barabati Stadium here on Tuesday. Chennai crashed out following its second successive loss.

Aizawl FC fought hard to beat Churchill Brothers 2-1 and enter the semifinals.

Amidst exchange of moves between East Bengal and Chennai, the first half remained goalless till the 45th minute.

Robin Singh, whose terrific edge of the box left-footer was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Karanjit Singh in the 14th minute, put East Bengal ahead in injury time. Willis Plaza banked on Chennai captain Dharamraj Ravanan's poor clearance to pass it on to Robin and the Delhi boy shot home to celebrate his 27th birthday.

A minute later, Plaza displayed a stunning solo run but could not beat Karanjit.

Chennai returned with greater intent and applied pressure for first 20 minutes of the second half.  Zakeer Mundampara was unlucky to see his 30 yard free-kick hitting the left vertical bar.

East Bengal, which earned five yellow cards, returned the compliments. Soon after an attempt, originating from Plaza-Robin combine, was blocked by Karanjit, Robin converted a 76th minute penalty to make it 2-0.

Aizawl maintained a better grip over its match against Churchill to lead 1-0 at the breather. Lalramchullova scored from the spot to put the I-League champion ahead in 21st minute.

Both sides tussled hard on the sluggish turf as rain lashed Barabati from half-time onwards. Churchill equalised when Ansumana Kromah converted an 84th minute penalty.

Laldanmaiwa Ralte dramatically headed in a long ranger in the 90th minute to ensure Aizawl's second win.

The results:

Group A: East Bengal 2 (Robin Singh 45+1, 76) bt Chennai City FC 0; Aizawl FC 2 (Lalramchullova 21, Laldanmaiwa 90) bt Churchill Brothers 1 (Kromah 84).

Wednesday's fixture: Group B: DSK Shivajians vs Bengaluru FC (4 p.m.); Shillong Lajong FC vs Mohun Bagan (7 p.m.)

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