Kolkata, Jan 27 (PTI) Kerala youngster Jobby Justin once again emerged as a game-changer with an assist followed by an opportunistic strike that enabled East Bengal defeat arch rivals Mohun Bagan 2-0 to remain in I-League title contention.
The 25-year-old first set it up for Jaime Colado who broke the deadlock in the 35th minute and then angled his header to perfection beating custodian Shilton Paul to seal three points for the red and gold brigade.
It is after 15 long years that East bengal have won both derbies in a single edition of national league.
With this win, East Bengal with 25 points from 13 games moved up to fourth position. Real Kashmir has same points from equal number of matches but are placed third on account of better goal difference.
Finally in 35th minute, man of the match Jobby got past the profligate Eze Kingsley and set it up for Colado, who slotted past Shilton.
East Bengal looked a compact unit while Mohun Bagan were let down by their back four while a couple of refereeing decisions also went against them.
In a 51st minute move, Colado had a bitter tussle with Dipanda Dicka and seemed to have fisted the Cameroonian forward inside the box but referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna of Coimbatore chose to ignore the incident.
Moments later, Mohun Bagan got the real opportunity to level when Eze’s powerful header hit the horizontal.
There was more action in store after the ball ricochetted off the bar as Darren Caldeira and Dipanda Dicka got in the thick of action with the latter finding the back of the net.
But the linesman ruled it off-side much to the disappointment of Bagan players.
Jobby then put the final nail in Bagan coffin as he outjumped his marker to head home a Lalrindika Ralte corner to bring up his eighth goal of the season.
Under new coach Khalid Jamil, Mohun Bagan were high on hopes after winning successive matches with their star winger Sony Norde back in his element.
But East Bengal did well to keep the Haitian at bay as he struggled to get the ball or his attempts were blocked by the alert defence.
Norde’s only realistic chance was in the first half but his first-time shot from the close ranger was well anticipated by Lalram Chullova.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.