New Delhi: An injury hit East Bengal went down to JCT by a solitary goal in a ninth round match of the I-League in Ludhiana on Saturday.
The Phagwara side, who now have 12 points from nine matches, scored the all-important in the 69th minute from a penalty after East Bengal defender Nirmal Chhetri brought down JCT striker Eduardo inside the area.
The Brazilian striker himself struck from the spot beating East Bengal custodian Subroto Pal hands down. The Calcutta side, who were looking to gain at least one point from this match before their crucial away tie against Dempo, remained unlucky as some of their key players got injured during the course of the match at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium.
East Bengal, who were without defender Surkumar Singh, suffered their first setback midway through the first session when stopper back Khelemba Singh limped out to make way for Sanju Pradhan.
In the second half, Nigerian stopper back Suley Musah too got injured and he was replaced by Suresh.
We were unlucky but still could have made it had our players converted the chances that came their way, said East Bengal coach Stanley Rozario. The East Bengal camp also complained that the referee ignored their claims of a penalty when Ghanaian striker Yakubu was fouled in the rival box.
Injured defenders Surkumar Singh and Khelemba Singh will not accompany the team to Goa for the match against Dempo.