New Delhi: Two goals both coming in the first-half helped East Bengal defeat a buoyant Indian Arrows 2-0 at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Tuesday. Foreign recruits Al-amnah and Katsumi Yusa both scored within 20 minutes into the match helping the Kolkata giants register a rather comfortable win against an ultra-confident All India Football Federation (AIFF) developmental team.
The win, their fifth this season also ensured the Red and Golds move four points clear of second placed Minerva Punjab, who have two matches at hand.
Just 12 minutes into the match and it was clearly evident as to why former Arrows goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem was so crucial to this young team when reserve custodian Prabhsukhan Singh Gill conceded a silly goal in the first post.
An Al-Amnah free-kick that should have been a regular save for any goalkeeper saw Gill concede, when the ball shipped-in between the space created by him and the post.
Three minutes later the Red and Golds doubled their lead when the Syrian-Japanese pair of Amnah and Yusa combined, with the latter heading in a inch-perfect cross from the Syrian footballer. The former Bagan player could have well made it 3-0 in the 38th minute but shot at the side netting in front of an open goal.
Arrows however looked a different side as they resumed play after the break with coach Norton de Matos introducing fresh legs in the form of Suresh Singh for Abhishek Halder. The change nearly bore fruits when a Sanjeev Stalin free-kick was brought low by Anwar Ali for Abhijit Sarkar. But the latter’s cheeky back-heel into the goal was well saved by an alert custodian Luis Barreto.
With a 2-0 lead and almost secured of a win the Red and Gold slowed down the proceedings with some delicate passing game between them together neutralising the face paced attacks of an young Arrows side.
The scoreline could nonetheless have been 3-0 but Al-Amnah’s bullet went just inches over the bar as East Bengal stayed content with two goals that secured all three points for the Kolkata side.
Menwhile, Indian Arrows remained seventh with just seven points from the same number of matches.