I-League: Late Dudu goal helps East Bengal beat Indian Arrows

The win was a big relief for East Bengal as it notched up the full quota of points to tally 23 points from 13 matches and return to the title race.

Dudu Omagbemi (above) returned to East Bengal after three seasons as a mid-season replacement for injured Willis Plaza. (File Photo)   -  Twitter

Dudu Omagbemi found the net near the end of the added-time to help East Bengal beat Indian Arrows by a solitary goal in an I-League fixture here at the Vidyasagar Stadium, Barasat on Sunday. After seeing its past four outings remaining winless, it was a big relief for East Bengal as it notched up the full quota of points to tally 23 points from 13 matches and return to the title race.

East Bengal dominated the action and repeatedly knocked at the Arrows goal but failed to get the desired result as its opponent, carved out of the juniors that played the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, put up resolute defending. It started with a valiant effort put up by Arrows goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill, who showed fine alacrity in clearing a powerful header from Dudu Omagbemi from a close range.

The Nigerian striker, who returned to East Bengal after three seasons as a midseason replacement for injured Willis Plaza, was set up in the 28th minute with a nice back-centre from the Japanese play-maker Katsumi Yusa.

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Maintaining a one-sided hold on the proceedings with more than 60 percent ball possession, East Bengal breached the Arrows box again in the 35th minute. Omagbami this time had another clear look at goal as he out-muscled his marker Anwar Ali and fired an angular shot, but his attempt found the post, much to the relief of the visitor.

East Bengal found a number of opportunities even after the break but was unable to convert as Dudu and his upfront colleague Ansumana Kromah did not get the finishing touch. East Bengal also wasted 16 corners before a cross from Mohammad Rafique in the third minute of added-time found Dudu, who finally beat Prabhsukhan with a lobbed header and earned his side all three points.

The result: East Bengal 1 (Dudu Omagbemi 90+3) bt Indian Arrows 0.

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