East Bengal scored two early goals through Mahmoud Al-Amna and Katsumi Yusa to give Khalid Jamil’s men a victory over the Indian Arrows at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The Arrows under Luis Norton de Matos, started with Edmund Laldrindika up front. Aniket Jadhav and Khumanthem Nintoinganba lined up either side of the Mizo striker as the Arrows opted for a 4-2-3-1.
Jamil, in the absence of injured striker Willis Plaza, had to field Jobby Justin as a lone striker, with Al-Amna supporting him. Jeakson Singh, also out through injury and Amarjit Singh, suspended for a red card in the last match, sat out as Abhijit Sarkar and Abhishek Halder started against the Red and Golds.
Halder gave East Bengal a dangerous opening when the number 19 fouled Yusa near the edge of the box. Thirteen minutes in the game, Al-Amna made the Arrows pay as the Syrian beat keeper Prabsukhan Gill, making his debut, at this near post from a set-piece.
Yusa doubled the advantage three minutes later as the Japanese stormed through the midfield and Gill was beaten from outside the box. It was a superb finish from East Bengal’s no 10 who is now the league’s joint top scorer with 5 goals.
The Arrows went into half-time two goals in the deficit, as East Bengal took their foot off the pedal.
The best chance for the boys in Blue came when East Bengal defence failed to clear a long ball launched into the box but Sarkar’s shot went wide. At the other end, Laldanmawia Ralte’s header was saved by Gill as East Bengal were denied the chance to go three goals up.
The Indian Arrows, now travel to Neroca three days later to play their eighth game.