Calcutta: East Bengal had another stroll in the park in their Super Division match against Calcutta Port Trust (CPT) at home on Thursday. While Suley Musah and Mike Okoro scored in the first half, K. Kulothungan completed the tally in the second session.
While Bhaichung Bhutia and Alvito DíCunha arenít available, Douglas Da Silva was rested by coach Subhas Bhowmick with their derby against Mohun Bagan on September 4 in mind.
Bhowmick played it safe and had Musah and Okoro upfront to utilise their physical advantage in the penetrative zone. And with Bhaichung not there, Okoro was taking the extra responsibility to create the openings.
Enjoying complete supremacy in the middle-third, it was just a matter of time before the defending champions scored.
After missing a couple of sitters, a superb combination play made it 1-0 for East Bengal. Dipankar Roy initiated the move down the left and Sasthi Duleyís pass found Musah whose booming right footer with the outstep beat the íkeeper on the first post.
It could easily have been two in the 40th minute when Musah wriggled past a couple of defenders but his shot went over the cross-piece.
However, they didnít have to wait too much as Okoro headed in a Chandan cross from the left in the 45th minute.
With the game in their pocket, East Bengal brought in Tushar Rakshit in the 53rd minute. And the veteran medio showed once again that he is good enough for the first XI.
His neat passing and superb ball sense enlivened the 20,000-odd spectators, who were getting a bit bored . He initiated most of the moves in the 37 minutes he was on field. He came close to scoring in the 64th minute when his powerful right-footer missed by a whisker.
Sushanta Karmakar, son of the great Sudhir Karmakar, could have pulled one back for CPT in the 75th minute, but his shot struck the crosspiece.
The third goal was the result of a show of brilliance by Okoro. The Nigerian, getting the ball from Tushar, took away a couple of defenders with him and sent a measured cross. Kulothungan, left free, had only to head in. Port Trust have 10 points from ten matches.
East Bengal: Sandip Nandy, Surya Bikash Chakraborty, M. Suresh, Dipak Mondal (Tushar Rakshit, 53), Mahesh Gawli, Chandan Das, S. Malsawmtluanga, (Raman Vijayan, 85), Dipankar Roy (K. Kulothungan), Sasthi Duley, Suley Musah, Mike Okoro
Port Trust: Gopal Das, Rabi Karmakar, Madhusudan Majamdar, Srimanta Das, Dibyendu Roy, Koushik Prasad, Bijoy Paul, Sanchit Saha, Amar Pyne, Pradip Indu (Sushanta Karmakar, 61), Sebastian Jerome (Sujit Dey, 46). Referee: Debjit Das.