East Bengal returned to winning ways with a commanding 3-1 victory over Minerva Punjab at the Barasat Stadium on Sunday in what was the penultimate round of games in the I-League, reported PTI.
Wedson Anselme, a Robin Singh and substitute Bikash Jairu were the scorers for the red-and-gold brigade, who had slipped out of title contention after a four-match losing streak under coach former Trevor Morgan.
East Bengal, however, failed to keep a clean sheet as Krishna Pandit struck in the dying moments through Victor Amobi in the injury time.
Playing under interim coach Ranjan Chowdhury after Morgan’s exit, East Bengal brightened their hopes for a top- three finish as they breached the 30-point mark, three behind rivals Mohun Bagan, who slipped to second after their 0-1 defeat at Aizawl FC on Saturday.
East Bengal complete their I-League engagement against relegation-wary Mumbai FC on April 29, while ninth-placed Minerva travel to Pune.
The Punjab outfit, which narrowly lost to Mohun Bagan in its last outing, was sloppy to start with and goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh escaped with a yellow card in the 22th minute after a body tackle on Jackichand Singh.
East Bengal nearly conceded in the 29th minute when Amobi shot from a close range, but Gurwinder Singh made a goal-line save.
But two minutes later, East Bengal found the opening after Anselme headed one on the bounce to the far post. East Bengal earned a penalty after Moinuddin Khan handled the ball, and Robin converted from the spot.
- East Bengal 3 (Wedson Anselme, Robin Singh, Bikash Jairu) beat Minerva Punjab 1 (Krishna Pandit)