Chennai City FC consolidated its position at the top of the I-League table by downing a mighty East Bengal 2-1 at the latter’s home here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
This win helped Chennai City erase the ignominy of losing 1-7 against the same side in their previous meeting here.
Spaniards Sandro Rodriguez and Nestor Gordillo found the target on either side of the two halves with the former converting a free-kick while the latter scored from a penalty. Spanish striker Enrique Esqueda reduced the margin for East Bengal by scoring early in the second half.
Playing a creative game with short passes in the first half, Chennai City dominated the proceedings with its Spanish foursome – Sandro, Roberto Eslava, Nestor and Pedro Manzi – dictating the attack.
East Bengal had its chance in the 13th minute when a Lalrindika Ralte freekick found Borja Perez lurking in the CCFC box but before he could make his attempt, CCFC defender Gaurav Bora cleared the ball.
The visiting Chennai City side had an opportunity in the 19th minute but Pedro Manzi failed to find the target. A foul on Sandro Rodriguez in first half injury-time led to the opening goal. Taking the free-kick from around 25 yards, Rodriguez curled the ball beautifully beyond the reach of a diving Rakshit Dagar to find the back of the net.
East Bengal returned with the equaliser after the break as a series of passes involving Jobby Justin, Surabuddin Mallick, and Johnny Acosta set up Enrique, who coolly slotted the ball home.
Despite the equaliser, Chennai City preserved its shape and kept searching for the lead. The opportunity came in the dying stages of the match when Dagar brought down Pravitto Raju in the box. Gordillo stepped up to score the winner from the spot and seal a 2-1 win for his side.
The result extends Chennai City's unbeaten run in the I-League and extends its lead at the with 10 points from four games, while East Bengal remains in the second position with six points from three matches.
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