KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan brightened its chances of a better finish in the I-League beating its traditional rival East Bengal 2-1 in the 19th round match that was postponed owing to latter's AFC Cup assignments.

With only a round to go and the titlist (Dempo SC) already decided, the match held only academic interest with two oldest rivals of Indian football playing for honour.

Seasoned Brazilian striker Jose Barreto, who has not been able to justify his reputation this season, found the mark off a header in the 15th minute when reached by a cross from hardworking Japanese midfielder Ryuiji Seuoka.

Mohun Bagan held on to the lead till late into the second half as East Bengal struggled to put in cohesive attack. Mohun Bagan doubled the lead in the 86th minute when Seuoka, later named the Player-of-the-Match, set up another fine cross at the East Bengal goalmouth, which was volleyed home by midfield substitute Snehasish Chakraborty (2-0).

East Bengal pulled one back in the final minute of the injury-time, when striker Yusif Yakubu slotted home an assist from Sanju Pradhan. — Principal Correspondent

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