I-league: East Bengal overcomes Chennai challenge easily

East Bengal scored three goals in the second half to overcome Chennai City FC 3-0 and seal its sixth successive win in I-League, at the Vidyasagar Stadium, Barasat on Sunday. The visitor showed resolute defending in the opening session but the host regrouped well after the break and scored in regular intervals to cement its position on top of the table.

East Bengal and Chennai City in action during their I-league encounter.   -  Special Arrangement

East Bengal scored three goals in the second half to overcome Chennai City FC 3-0 and seal its sixth successive win in I-League, at the Vidyasagar Stadium, Barasat on Sunday. The visitor showed resolute defending in the opening session but the host regrouped well after the break and scored in regular intervals to cement its position on top of the table.

Haitian midfielder Wedson Anselme opened the scoring early in the second half before he set up the striker from Trinidad and Tobago, Willis Plaza, to double the lead. Lalrindika Ralte made it 3-0 off a penalty in the last minute of the added time to see East Bengal pick up the full quota of points and take its tally to 19 points from seven outings. Suffering its fourth loss of the tournament, Chennai City FC remained at the bottom on, four points from seven matches.

When Charles de Souza made two great sorties in the first half - the first of which ended in the side netting while second was saved by the East Bengal custodian T.P. Rehenesh – the home fans were quietened by the spirit of CCFC’s Brazilian striker. The first session ended goalless as the visitor, encouraged by the return of its captain D. Ravanan, put up a good vigil at own goal while getting its attack to keep the opposition under pressure.

East Bengal was a reformed side after the break as it started dominating ball possession. The first break happened in the 50th minute when a smart lob from Ralte reached Wedson clear of the CCFC defence and the Haitian made no mistake with an angular left-footer that found the far post.

With CCFC doing little to find the equaliser, East Bengal doubled the lead by the 75th minute. This time it was Wedson who issued a nice through-pass that split open the CCFC defence to find Plaza, who placed the ball home to fetch the insurance goal. Just when it appeared that everything was over East Bengal earned a penalty in the 90+4 minute when Boithang Haokip was brought down by CCFC defender Aniyichie Echezona inside the box. Ralte scored from the spot to make EB’s win healthy in the end.

The result: East Bengal 3 (Wedson Anselme 50, Willis Plaza 75, Lalrindika Ralte 90+4) bt Chennai City FC 0. Man of the match – Wedson Anselme

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