Punjab FC defeated East Bengal FC 4-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday to knock out the Red & Gold Brigade from the Indian Super League playoff race.

Chennaiyin FC have become the sixth and final team to qualify for the playoffs. Whilst Punjab FC were out of the contention to make it to the top-six already, they spoiled the hopes of East Bengal FC who round off their ISL 2023-24 campaign with 24 points to their name.

In their final game of the season, Punjab FC had their famed attacking trio getting their name on the scoresheet as Wilmar Jordan Gil’s brace was accompanied by a strike each from Madih Talal and Luka Majcen.

The Staikos Vergetis-coached attacked East Bengal down flanks and created chances for their efficient forwards. In reply, East Bengal, for whom this was a must-win encounter, could only reply with a solitary goal by Sayan Banerjee in the 25th minute of the game.

Wilmar started the onslaught as Tekcham Singh broke the left side of the East Bengal FC defence to cut back a cross for the striker that he converted with absolute ease. Sayan restored parity with a shot from distance.

Talal ensured that Punjab went into the break with the lead. Talal cut inside from the left wing and hammered the ball past Kamaljit Singh at the near post into the roof of the net.

Talal then turned provider in the second half, embarking on another one of his blazing runs on the wing before finding Gil with a low cross. Without missing a step, Gil fired the ball into the top corner.

In search of the equaliser, East Bengal had exposed spaces in their backline that Punjab pounced upon a fast counter-attack. Majcen finally got on the scoresheet with a powerful finish to end Punjab’s first season in the ISL on a high.