East Bengal snapped a three-game losing streak with a dominant 3-1 victory over a somewhat below par Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Kolkata on Saturday.
Brandon Vanlalremdika (4th minute), Jobby Justin (14th) and Lalramchullova (82nd) were on target as the Kolkata giants registered their first win on home soil this season.
Christian Sabah (57th) found the back of the net for Gokulam Kerala.
The result saw East Bengal move a rung to seventh place with nine points from six matches while Gokulam Kerala went down a place to sixth having nine points from seven outings.
The midweek loss to defending champions Minerva Punjab FC prompted hosts’ Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez to ring in a few changes.
World Cupper Johnny Acosta was dropped as India international Salam Ranjan Singh was given his first I-League start this season.A
Kassim Aidara kept his place while Rakshit Dagar was brought back between the sticks.
Sans the services of Antonio German, Gokulam Kerala played Deepak Kumar, Mudde Musa and Baoringdao Bodo after their draw with Churchill Brothers.
East Bengal took the lead early on when Lalramchullova’s cross inside the box was brought down by Spaniard Enrique Esqueda.
The Mexican played it back for Jobby Justin who lobbed it for an onrushing Vanlalremdika who slammed the ball past Kunniyil low and across towards the farside.
Jobby Justin then got into the act, first sprinting past Abhishek Das to enter the boxA
and double the lead for the home side.
Both Salam and Esqueda had their opportunities to add their name in the scoresheet but both squandered their shots.
The visitors managed to half the deficit post the halftime break.A
Just before the hour mark, Addo’s long ball caught the entire East Bengal defence napping and Ghanaian striker Christian Sabah flicked the ball past Rakshit Dagar and into the back of the net.
Jobby Justin and Bidyashagar missed gilt edged chances from one-on-one situations butA East Bengal restored their two-goal lead in the last ten minutes of regulation time.
Aidara won the ball from Musa and released Lalrindika on the run. The Mizoram-player squared the ball to Chullova on the edge of the box as the latter found the target with little fuss.