Shillong: Christopher Payne struck twice to help East Bengal beat Shillong Lajong FC 2-1 and retain their top spot in the I-League points table in Shillong on Saturday.
Australian striker Payne scored in the eighth and 33rd minutes while Aser Dipanda Dicka reduced the margin for the home side in the 64th minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
After playing 12 matches, East Bengal are now at the top spot with 27 points, followed by Aizawl FC -- one point behind from as many outings. Lajong are at fourth position with 16 points from 11 matches.
Payne made no mistake in tapping home a cross from Robin Singh after Lajong custodian Vishal Kaith failed to collect the ball properly for the visiting side to take an early in the eighth minute.
Within minutes of the first goal, Lajong's Dipanda was brought down inside the box but no penalty was given.
Payne struck again in the 33rd minute when he chested down a free kick and made a good finish.
Trevor Morgan coached East Bengal kept at bay the chances created by the home team till the halftime break.
After the breather, both teams stepped up on the gas with Lajong trying their best possible combination at the front while East Bengal regrouped and made a strong wall at the back.
The hosts' efforts, however, paid off when Dipanda found the net in the 64th minute.
Samuel Shadap's pass to Dicka was rewarded when East Bengal custodian Rehenesh missed the ball, leaving the I-League top scorer to head the ball home.
With renewed vigour, the home side went on to attack the table toppers for the equaliser but were denied many chances.
Shadap went close to scoring in the 70th minute of the game when he took a long shot sending Rehenesh diving to save it.
Morgan's team held on till the end with a few counter attacks but survived long enough till the final whistle to win the match and remain on top of the table.
Churchill stun Mohun Bagan 2-1 in I-League
Vasco: Churchill Brothers came back from behind to end Mohun Bagan's unbeaten run with a 2-1 win in the 12th round of the Hero I-League football tournament, in Vasco on Saturday.
Prabir Das 24th minute goal gave Bagan the lead before Anthony Wolfe(65th) and Chesterpoul Lyndoh(74th) struck for the hosts to register the stunning hard-fought victory.
Churchill Brothers' second successive win took their tally to 12 points from as many matches. The Goan side is now placed sixth in the standings.
Mohun Bagan, who suffered their first defeat, remained on third place with 21 points from 10 matches, six points behind table toppers East Bengal.
Play was interrupted in the 80th minute after floodlights went off and their was total black out for 40 minutes.
The referee R Venkatesh resumed play after 40 minutes when the floodlights restored and Churchill Brothers did well to held on their lead.
Churchill Brothers looked a transformed side after Derrick Pereira took over as head coach today. The hosts fielded an unchanged side from the team that played last against DSK Shivajians.
Mohun Bagan, who took time to settle down, slowly made dangerous inroads and had two clear chances to surge ahead but first Prabir and latter Darryl Duffy failed to get past rival keeper Navin Kumar.
However, Churchill Brothers' citadel finally fell in the 24th minute.
Sony Norde, who was kept quite by Chesterpoul Lyngdoh, made a run on the left and send a perfect cross into the box for Prabir who leaped high in between two rival defenders to head the ball into the net to give Bagan a 1-0 lead at half time.
Churchill Brothers, who controlled the proceeding in the first half, nearly found the equaliser in the 40th minute when Brandon Fernandes' pile driver from a free kick was kept away by Bagan goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar in nick of time.
Churchill Brothers continued in the same fashion in the second half but they found keeper Debjit Majumdar a tough customer under the bar to beat as he brought off a diving save off angular low drive from Anthony Wolfe from inside the box.
Bagan retaliated and nearly increased their lead in the 60th minute when Darryl Duffy chested down Sony Norde's cross from the left for Jeje, whose low shot was blocked by Churchill's keeper Navin and the rebound was cleared away by defender Rowilson.
Churchill's effort finally paid off as Bagan's defence crumbled under pressure to concede two goals in a span of nine minutes.
In the 64th minute, Churchill's defender Seriton Fernandes saw off defender Anas and Eduardo, who failed to clear the ball and Anthony Wolfe sliced between two defenders to find the back of the net.
Eduardo Ferreira, who otherwise did well to defend the citadel, failed to clear Brandon Fernandes cross from the left and Chesterpoul Lyndhoh darted in to head the ball into the net in the 74th minute to give Churchill their second win under new coach Derrick Pereira.
Kamo's double strike helps Aizawl beat Mumbai FC 2-0
Aizawl: Aizawl FC continued their enviable home run as they defeated Mumbai FC 2-0 in their I-League encounter in Aizawl on Saturday.
Bayi Kamo's (65th and 78th minute) two goals in the second half were enough to clinch three points for the hosts who continued with their unbeaten streak at home.
Aizawl were right on target early on and Kattimani had to block a potential goal by Danmawia who received a volley from Rane just a couple of minutes into the match.
Alfred Jaryan nearly gave Aizawl the lead when he sent a left-footer towards the goal from close range but the ball sailed over the crossbar.
Jayesh Rane's shot from 25 yards away after an assist by Alfred Jaryan also threatened the away keeper but the ball was cleared to the fortune of Santosh Kashyap's side.
Towards the end of the first half, Alfred Jaryan took a free kick from 35 yards. Kattamini failed to secure the ball in his first touch but managed to hold onto the ball just moments before Aizawl FC forwards intervened.
The first half did not see any goal although Aizawl FC forwards troubled Mumbai FC defence several times.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Aizawl defender Kingsley's shot shook the woodwork. Kingsley had received a well-timed pass from Kamo.
After a series of unsuccessful attempts, the home side took the lead in the 65th minute. A timely assist by Aizawl FC midfielder Brandon from the left flank was received by Bayi Kamo who opened the scoreline with a thunderous left-footed shot.
Aizawl doubled their lead in the 78th minute. Al Amna's pass from outside the box was easily converted by Kamo to increase his goal tally to four this season.
After this win today, Aizawl are now at second spot behind East Bengal with 26 points from 12 matches.
Aizawl coach Khalid Jamil praised the performance of his boys.
"They played a good game. We deserve the three points," he said.
Mumbai coach Santosh Kashyap admitted that "the deserving team won".
"We did not have enough time to have practice because of the festival yesterday which slowed down the traffic on our way to the ground," he said.
Published Date: Mar 05, 2017 12:10 pm | Updated Date: Mar 05, 2017 12:10 pm