Kolkata: East Bengal managed to return to winning ways, securing a 3-1 victory over Minerva Punjab in an I-League encounter at the Barasat District Sports Stadium here on Sunday.
East Bengal strikers Wedson Anselme (31st minute) and Robin Singh (52nd) struck on either side of the break before Bikash Jairu (90th) scored the best goal of the match in the closing stages as the Kolkata giants claimed victory in front of their home crowd.
Minerva Punjab scored a consolation goal from Krishna Pandit (90′).
The Red and Golds missed an earlier chance courtesy Abinash Ruidas who failed to apply the finishing touch from a Jackichand Singh.
Jackichand turned the creator again in the 17th minute but his ball inside the box was too heavy for Wedson and saw Arshdeep Singh come out and collect. A minute before the half hour mark it was Gurwinder Singh who came to his side’s rescue as he pulled off a goal line save after Subhasish Roy Chowdhury spilled it from Victor Amobi at close range.
Merely two minutes later, it was Wedson who put in a goal courtesy a bouncing header following an overlapping run and a cross from Rahul Bheke. Things turned worse for Minerva after the break following the introduction of Robin Singh. The striker won a penalty with literally his first kick of the match after it struck the hand of Moinuddin inside the box.
After a tussle with Wedson as to who would take the kick, the former TFA youth product stepped up and slotted in to make it 2-0 for the home side. At the hour mark Amobi again made a nuisance of himself in the box but elected to pass it back to Germanpreet who smashed his shot over the bar. At the end of regulation time Bikash Jairu added the icing on the cake after taking on Simranjeet and smashing it to make it 3-0 for East Bengal after Wedson had played him on.
Subhasish was however deprived of his clean sheet a couple of minutes later when Krishna Pandit popped up and scored a consolation goal for the side from Punjab. The win keeps East Bengal at third spot, three points ahead of close challengers Bengaluru FC.