East Bengal moved to the top of the league table with a resounding 3-0 win over Churchill Brothers SC in their round 6 match of the I-League at Nehru stadium, Fatorda on Saturday.
Powerful Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi scored twice, first in the very 5th minute of the first half and then in the 4th minute of the add-on time. The other goal scorer for East Bengal was Manandeep Singh, who kept Churchill keeper rooted under the bar with his powerful 30-yard left footed drive, in the 76th minute.
With this win, East Bengal have now moved to the top of the league table with 14 points after 6 matches. Dempo SC are on second position with 13 points while Churchill Brothers are on 3rd with 12 points.
Churchill Brothers appeared to be a disjointed lot as they showed no urgency at all to get past the rival defence.
Though they took the ball deep inside the rival box on few occasions but their Brazilian striker Roberto Mendes Silva (Beto) and Lebanese forward Akram Moghrabi were unable to click well. Their Gabonese forward Henri Arnadu, who came in place of Beto in the second session, also failed to impress and as a result Churchill were left high and dry as they could not release the firepower at the upfront.
Churchill had quite a few decent chances to score but Akram and Beto couldn’t find the mark and so did Henri.
On the other hand, East Bengal capitalised on all the three chances that came their way and emerged the deserving winners hammering Churchill Brothers in their own soil.
Even though it was Churchill who created a good move with Beto sending a pass to Akram into the box, the latter was pulled in for an off-side position and then quickly the ball rolled on to the other end, where Harmajot Singh Khabra was seen moving down the right flank and crossing a ball to Orji Penn Ikechukwu who in turn passed the ball to Edeh Chidi who kept the Churchill defence napping and coolly placed the ball to the right of Churchill’s keeper Sandip Nandi.
Churchill Brothers then created several forays in the first half but East Bengal led by the goal scored by Chidi succeeded in thwarting all the good moves made by the Varca based team.
Crossing over, the same story continued with Churchill Brothers seeing more of the ball and having chances to score as well. But none of the strikers could guide the ball well and to add to their misery the crosses that came to the strikers were quite erratic.
Then came the two dangerous moves well-woven by the East Bengal team, one of which was a sheer defensive lapse.
First, Orji Pen ran down the middle and squared the ball to Manandeep Singh who from 30 yards sent a powerful left footer that kept Sandip Nandi totally dazed as the ball entered the far corner of the nets.
As the match went into the add-on time of five minutes, a Churchill Brothers defender created a blunder sending a back pass which straightway travelled to Edeh Chidi who literally walked with the ball to score his second goal.
Jubilant after the victory East Bengal coach Travor Morgan praised his boys, especially the defence, saying: "It’s not easy to beat a strong team like Churchill Brothers and I am very happy that my boys raised their game to earn an important win for the team."
Churchill Brothers coach Mariano Dias expressed his disappointment with his players who failed to play to the plan of marking the rival players tightly. He also rued that the midfield did not give adequate support to the strikers as a result of which goals did not come forth, despite having better ball possession. [NT]