East Bengal downed Saigon Xuan Thanh of Vietnam 4-1 in the concluding Group-H league encounter of the AFC Cup here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
Orji Penn scored twice while Edeh Chidi slotted in a penalty, and Andrew Baric completed East Bengal’s tally. Nsi Amougou scored the lone reply for the visitor.
With this win, East Bengal became the only Indian club ever to finish the group stage with an unbeaten record, and sailed into the next round as group topper.
East Bengal took a grip on the proceedings right from the start by winning a penalty in the eighth minute.
Referee Fahad Almirdasi of Saudi Arabia was perhaps a little too harsh on the visitor, pointing to the spot after Chidi Edeh took a tumble colliding with the Saigon defender Phoung Nam, and the Nigerian striker had no problem in finding the net from the spot.
The Vietnamese outfit seemed to bounce right back when Emeka Ndubuisi got his header home in the 10th minute but the goal was disallowed as the Nigerian striker was ruled offside.
East Bengal regained control soon after, with Barisic doubling the lead off a fine counter-attack in the 44th minute. Saumik Dey, the hardworking East Bengal right-back, intercepted a Saigon pass and made a darting run to release Barisic ahead of a scattered defence.
The Australian cut inside the Saigon box and shot home from a sharpish angle.
The result: East Bengal 4 (Edeh Chidi 8-pen., Andrew Barisic 44, Orji Penn 53, 59) bt Saigon Xuan Thanh 1 (Nsi Amougou 61).