The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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East Bengal champions for the 31st time
- Alvito red card takes sheen off brilliant winner

Calcutta: As expected, East Bengal lifted their 31st title with a 1-0 victory over Eastern Railway on Tuesday. But the game of football took a beating at the East Bengal ground.

Alvito D’Cunha’s fourth goal in the league, in the 70th minute, was the all-important one which fetched them three points and the Sahara CFL Premier Division title. But his behaviour after scoring the winner took away much sheen off his brilliant effort.

Alvito, who came in as replacement for Mohammed Mukhtar, scored from a free-kick. He bent it like David Beckham from around 22 yards to bulge the netting. Soon after, he seemed to lose his senses.

Alvito ran towards Eastern Railway custodian Kalyan Lodh, who had a very good day in office, made an obscene gesture at him, and worse, elbowed him (later, he claimed it was not intentional).

Lodh went to the ground, rather dramatically. It looked to be play-acting. Chaos ensued in the overflowing stands.

Forgetting the Alvito act, East Bengal fans hurled crackers at the Eastern Railway players and abused them too.

Referee Kashinath Sen took 10 minutes to send off Alvito and Eastern Railway’s Sanjit Dutta Bhowmick (with a second booking).

East Bengal finished with 32 points, while Mohun Bagan are now on 27 with one match in hand. Whatever be the result of the green-and-maroons’ last game against United SC on Wednesday, Mohun Bagan will finish runners-up.


East Bengal: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, Vincent Pires, Luiz Octavio de Souza, M. Suresh, Saumik Dey, Chandan Das (Bibiano Fernandez 85), Jayanta Sen, Dipankar Roy, Marcio Fernandez (Vimal Pariyar 50), Freddy Mascarenhas, Mohammed Mukhtar.

Eastern Railway: Kalyan Lodh, Sanjit Dutta Bhowmick, Barun Kundu, Santanu Bit, Babun Kar, Niladri Chakraborty (Archisman Biswas 79), Parvez Alam, Bapon Bera, Mohammed Nadim, Samrat Roy Chowdhury (Joydeep Debnath 83), Henry Chukuwama.

Referee: Kashinath Sen.

Man-of-the-Match: M. Suresh.

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