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East Bengal ride Robin’s strike

- Morgan’s men move to the top of Group A
Robin Singh celebrates his goal with teammate Gurwinder Singh, on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: After a string of unsatisfactory performances, Robin Singh finally regained some form.

It was his solitary strike that helped Kingfisher East Bengal to a win over a 10-man Peerless SC in a Calcutta Football League Premier Division tie, at the club ground, on Wednesday and top Group A.

Precisely, his conversion also stands out as a cover-up for the profligacy of his strike partner Seiminlen Doungel, who squandered sitters especially towards the closing stages of the game.

Coach Trevor James Morgan would be happy enough to take home full points from this game. But there may be some concerns at the same time as captain Sanju Pradhan will be out of action for four to six weeks owing to an ankle injury, which he sustained during the course of the game before being replaced by Reisangmi Vashum in the 32nd minute.

With Sanju’s departure, East Bengal, fielding mainly reserves, appeared scratchy except for a goal-bound move or two.

But with seconds remaining before the half-time whistle, Seiminlen set it up for Robin, who positioned himself to perfection and unleashed a left-footer to beat the advancing Peerless ’keeper all ends up.

East Bengal could have easily doubled their lead around the 70th minute-mark when Robin squared for the goal-mouth Seiminlen, who was just a few yards away from the target. But Seiminlen’s flick sailed way over the horizontal.

Peerless, for their part, would only rue striker Adekunle Wahed’s poor work inside the 10-yard circle despite being completely unmarked, early in the second half.

Besides, they were reduced to 10-men when defender Somson Oyleke was booked for the second time towards the end and duly sent off for retaliation inspite of having won a foul.

TEAMS

East Bengal: Jayanta Paul, Gurwinder Singh, Raju Gaikwad, Robert Lalthlamuana, Saikat Saha Roy, Sanju Pradhan (Reisangmi Vashum, 32nd minute), Sushanth Mathew (Alvito D’Cunha, 72), Cavin Lobo, Lalrindika Ralte, Seiminlen Doungel, Robin Singh.

Peerless SC: Ranjit Majumdar, Somson Oyleke, Wasim Raja (Surajit Roy, 74), Ranjan Mistri, Mosso Murmu, Sourov Sana (Lal Danial, 58), Babin Biswas (Avidhan Chakraborty, 49), Zoheb Hassan, James, Adekunle Wahed.

Referee: Biplab Poddar