East Bengal edged past Mohammedan Sporting Club to claim the top position in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division A on Thursday. Pintu Mahato, Jamie Colado and Marcus Martin scored a goal each as the current league leaders clinched a hard fought 3-2 win at the Salt Lake stadium.

Alejandro Menendez made five changes to his team’s starting line-up which beat Rainbow AC in their last game. The Red and Golds broke the deadlock in the 12th minute as Mahato found the back of the net with a diving header. Tondomba Naorem found Kamalpreet Singh with a forward pass on the right, who sent a cross inside the box and Mahato made no mistake to score, putting his team ahead. Saheed Ramon’s men responded quickly with a 24th minute equaliser thanks to an accidental own goal by Borja Gomez.

East Bengal restored their lead at the stroke of half-time through a penalty. The referee gave Mohammedan Sporting defender Saiful Rahman a straight red for a handball, awarding East Bengal a penalty. Colado sent the ball home
with a clinical spot-kick.

East Bengal’s second-half substitution Marcus made his mark into the game as the Spanish striker netted the third goal in the 59th minute from Lalrdindika Ralte’s square pass. Ramon’s side went all guns blazing after
conceding the third goal.

Their constant attacking moves finally paid off when Arthur Kouassi pulled one back in the 83rd minute. After today’s victory, East Bengal rallied to the top spot with 20 points from 10 matches.

Santosh Trophy

Bengal hammered Odisha 4-0 to advance in the 74th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy at Kalyani stadium. With this victory, Bengal qualified from this group of East Zone Qualifying Round. Arjun Tudu (7’ & 63’), Surojit Seal(54’) and Md Farhid (56’) were on target for the winners.

Friday CFL fixtures: Peerless v Rainbow Athletic Club