AFC Cup: East Bengal win 2-1

Kolkata, April 9 (IANS) Striking once in each half, East Bengal continued their undefeated run with a 2-1 win over Singapore outfit Tampines Rovers in their AFC Cup Group H return leg fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium Tuesday.

Nigerian Edeh Chidi put the hosts ahead in the first session, but Rovers drew parity through Shaiful Esah in the later half before Lalrindika Ralte struck the winner four minutes before time with a rasping long ranger.

East Bengal thus remained atop the group gleaning ten points from four matches and are all but certain to qualify for the Round of 16.

The home side dominated the proceedings on a hot day when the mercury touched 40 degree Celsius. They went ahead in the 22nd minute when Chidi finished off a pass from Manandeep Singh. The Singaporeans drew level from a free kick in the 68th minute, before Ralte scored a beauty in the 86th to settle the issue.

If East Bengal manage to move into the pre-quarters, it would be the first time since 2004-05 that they would make the cut into the tournament’s knock out stage.

The Kolkata giants had outsmarted the S-League champions 4-2 in Singapore.

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