Quess East Bengal earned their first win of the season, as they overpowered hosts Neroca FC by a margin of 4-1 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium, Imphal on Tuesday.
Jaime Colado, who was adjudged as the Hero of the Match converted twice from the penalty spot besides Juan Mera and Marcus Espada who scored their second goals of the campaign respectively. Diara scored one consolation goal for the Oranges but that couldn’t delay the inevitable.
The determination of the Red and Golds was evident right from the first minute. First, Juan Mera’s cross just eluded Santos Colado and within the next few seconds, Santos’ cross was headed by Marcos, but feebly, posing no problem for Neroca keeper Marvin Philip.
In the 19th minute, the red and gold brigade continued their attack, and the ball seemed to have found the back of the net through an own goal of Taryk Sampson but it was disallowed by the referee later.
In the very next minute, Juan Mera was brought down by Shaikhom Ronald Singh inside the penalty box and the referee pointed to the spot without any hesitation, awarding East Bengal a penalty. Jamie Santos Colado stepped up and slotted it down the left, making no mistake in giving the visitors the lead.
Gift Raikhan’s side, having fallen behind, pressed hard in pursuit of an equaliser and were duly rewarded not long after. In the 31st minute, Taryk’s long pass found Chanso Horam who did well to keep the ball in play and squeezed in a perfect cross for Bou Bacar Diara, who just tapped in the ball home for Neroca to draw the parity.
The game kept turning on its head, as it was Quess East Bengal who regained their lead just two minutes later. Marcos was brought down just at the edge of the Neroca penalty box giving East Bengal a set-piece chance, which was converted Juan Mera. The Spaniard’s left-footed effort edged past the Neroca goalie to restore his side’s advantage going into the break.
Both sides started the second half with equal tempo before in the 50th minute a Neroca handball inside the penalty box from a move by Espada gave the Red & Golds another penalty, which was converted by Colado again, making it 3-1 for the Kolkata outfit.
In the 65th minute, Pintu Mahata’s cross, beat an outstretched Marvin Philip to find an unmarked Marcus, who headed in an easy goal to further extend East Bengal’s lead to 4-1. Minutes later, they had a chance for their fifth, when Abhishek Ambekar’s powerful shot was blocked by Marvin Philip.
After today’s win, Quess East Bengal have climbed to the third place on the points table with five points from three matches, while Neroca FC stay at the seventh spot with three.