League topper Salgaocar defeated Kingfisher East Bengal 3-2 in an eighth round Airtel I-League football match at the Kalyani Stadium near here on Friday.
Karma Tsewang (9th), Francis Fernandes (10th) and Clifton Dias (60th) enabled Salgaocar establish a commanding 3-0 lead. East Bengal reduced the margin through James Moga (64th) and Seimenlen Doungel (77th).
Having beaten United SC 2-0 at the same venue, Salgaocar put up another solid display. Two goals in two minutes took the wind out of East Bengal’s sails.
East Bengal fought back but custodian Karanjit Singh was very impressive under the Salgaocar bar. The India international thwarted Edeh Chidi and Lalrindika Ralte’s efforts in quick succession.
East Bengal then conceded the third when Dias volleyed home a Francis cross. It kept looking for a chance and finally managed to breach the Salgaocar defence when Moga headed in a fine goal.
That gave East Bengal some hope and the substitutions worked. Substitute Doungel scored East Bengal’s second in the 77th with a brilliant long-range effort.
This goal gave Salgaocar some nervy last few minutes. It, however, held on to record its first-ever away win over East Bengal in the I-League. The winner now has 16 points, while East Bengal stayed on six.
The results: At Kolkata: Salgaocar 3 (Karma Tsewang 9th, Francis Fernandes 10th, Clifton Dias 60th) bt East Bengal 2 (James Moga 64th, Seimenlen Doungel 77th).
At Mapusa: Mohun Bagan 0 drew with Dempo 0.