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Posted on Nov 24, 07:15PM | IBNS
The confidence one would expect from a side playing at home was abundantly in display as East Bengal toyed with giant-killer ONGC FC 5-0 in a seventh round match of the I-League at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.
ONGC were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when their defender Sandeep Sangha received his second booking of the match. But the concession in numbers in the opponent ranks could not rob East Bengal of the credit of being the deserving winners.
The weekend crowd of around 15,000 were treated to a feast of attacking football as East Bengal played a superlative second half to realise the big scoreline and also cemented its position on top of the league standings in the process. Edeh Chidi, Orji Penn, Manandeep Singh, and substitutes Lalrindika Ralte and Robin Singh completed the sequence of scoring process as East Bengal cruised to its third successive win.
More so, the Kolkata giant scored 11 goals in the three rounds without conceding any and made a remarkable turnaround after they were held to a 1-1 draw by the defending champion Dempo SC in the fourth round.
East Bengal started cautiously looking to assess their opponent which had the reputation of upsetting big sides. Coming off a 3-1 win that dethroned Dempo from the leadership in the previous round, ONGC could not reproduce the flair that gave them the upset win at their home in Ambedkar Stadium. Shaking off the initial lethargy East Bengal found the lead in the 26th minute when Chidi broke through the ONGC defence and complimented a nice assist from Ishfaq Ahmed.