|Ranty Martins (left) and Dudu Omagbemi after East Bengal's victory, on Thursday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: It’s not even a week since Dudu Omagbemi arrived in the city, but he has already been part of a couple of matches for Kingfisher East Bengal.
By his own admission, he’s yet to gain match fitness. Inspite of that, he fired home a hat-trick as East Bengal gunned Army XI down 4-1 in Thursday’s CFL Premier Division Championship Round tie, here, at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Courtesy an ideal follow-up to their Derby win, East Bengal have now moved up to fourth in the CFL table with 13 points from six matches. Armando Colaco’s men are well and truly back in the hunt for the CFL title.
Getting off to a sound start, East Bengal went into the attack when Ranty Martins flicked home a Saumik Dey centre from the left flank, in the 28th minute. The Armymen were still very much in the game though. But post the change of ends, the centre stage belonged to Dudu.
His first strike came in the 57th minute. Receiving Abhishek Das’s long ball, he headed it down to bring it under control before unleashing a left-footer, giving neither his marker nor the rival goalie any chance.
Growing more and more dangerous as the game progressed, Dudu got his second soon after, scoring off a Subodh Kumar set up. And that too, with his right foot, something he isn’t too comfortable with.
Dudu’s effortless show eventually earned him a well-deserved hat-trick. All he needed to do was just stroll past two rival players before finishing with his prised left-footer off an Anthony Soren centre.
“It’s always nice to get a hat-trick, but I’ll have to keep performing this way even against stronger opponents. I’m not as match fit as I am supposed to be,” Dudu said after the match.
“The CFL is more a preparatory tournament for me. My target is to win the I-League for East Bengal. Individually, I feel I’ve improved as a player and I believe I can help the team earn more and more success,” he stressed.
East Bengal: Abhra Mondal; Abhishek Das, Gurwinder Singh, Safar Sardar, Saumik Dey; Deepak Tirkey (Prolhad Roy, 35), Sukhwinder Singh, Subodh Kumar (Anthony Soren, 71), Abinash Ruidas (Kishan Bag, 90+1); Dudu Omagbemi, Ranty Martins
Army XI: Sharat Narayan; Anthony Chetri, Rojen Meitei, Dileep, Vibin T.V.; Santu Subba (Lalraing Mawia, 66), Shadip Rai (Jain P., 72), Francis, Sanal; Lallian Mawia (Jotin Singh, 82), Arjun Tudu
MoM: Dudu Omagbemi
Referee: Animesh Biswas