The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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East Bengal rout ITI, stay on top

Bangalore: Displaying superiority in all departments, favourites East Bengal overwhelmed Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) 3-1 in a National Football League match here Wednesday.

Sashthi Duley put the Calcutta outfit ahead in the 17th minute after latching on to a lob from Alvito D’Cunha. ITI custodian N. Balaji came forward to cut the angle, but Duley deceived him and pushed the ball into the net.

Suley Musah increased the tally when he fired in a goal after a solo effort in the 35th minute. Musah, who took control of a pass from D’Cunha, gave no chance to the ITI defenders and unleashed a strong shot.

ITI pulled one back through Ghanian import Ibrahim Karim Alhasan in the 60th minute. They came close on a couple of other occasions, but could not convert.

The title-contenders consolidated their position when striker Mike Okoro scored the third goal in the 83rd minute.

East Bengal are on top of the league table with 24 points from ten matches. ITI are at the bottom with just three. Subhas Bhowmick’s team thus completed a successful away trip, having beaten HAL 5-3 here earlier.

Tollygunge go down fighting

In Margao, Vasco withstood a series of second-half threats to down a fighting Tollygunge Agragami by a solitary goal. The win put them in second place, with 21 points from ten matches. Tollygunge have ten.

Vasco dominated the first half and scored the all-important goal shortly after the breather through Rui Wanderlei Weis.

It was all Vasco in the first half as they attacked from both flanks and could have scored a few goals, but Tollygunge goalkeeper Arindam Ghosh had a good game. He was declared Man of the Match.

Brazilian medio Marcos, who was tightly marked, troubled the defence on a few occasions. Tollygunge, who relied on long passes to break the rival defence, came close in the 35th minute but Ashim Biswas’ effort was parried by ’keeper Saji Joy.

After persistent efforts, Vasco took the lead when medio Riston Rodrigues passed the ball to Rui from the centre. The Brazilian striker controlled the ball well and neatly placed the ball home.

Damasio does it for Mahindra

In Chennai, new Brazilian import Ednei Jose Damasio struck twice to help Mahindra United prevail over a spirited Indian Bank 2-0. With this win, Mahindra moved to ten points from as many matches, while Indian Bank stayed on 11.

The Mumbai outfit went ahead in the very first minute following a long cross from the left by R.P. Singh. The defenders were yet to settle down and an opportunist Damasio lobbed the ball in.

After conceding the goal, the bankmen stepped up the pace with a series of attacks but failed to find the finishing touch. On two occasions, they came very close to scoring Harish and Mohammed wasted the chances.

After the breather, Mahindra rediscovered their rhythm and kept the rival defenders on tenterhooks, capitalising on the sloppy midfield and defence. On one such occasion, goalkeeper Edward and defender Nathaniel paid the price for a misunderstanding after a corner kick as Damasio did the needful.

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