I League : East Bengal manages to defeat a gritty United Sikkim

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East Bengal 1 (Lalrindika Ralte – 83nd)

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United Sikkim FC 0

GANGTOK: I League giant East Bengal struggled hard to break down a resilient newcomer United Sikkim FC before scoring a 1-0 victory with a freakish goal seven minutes before the final whistle on Thursday here at Paljor Stadium.

A fierce free kick from second half substitute Lalrindika Ralte in the 83rd minute ricocheted off a United Sikkim defender and flew past goalkeeper Yoon Tae for the only goal in a game of overwhelming dominance for East Bengal.

Hampered by niggling injuries to its key players, United Sikkim could not repeat its counterattacking performance like it did against Salgaocar in the first match and was bogged down in its own half against Trevor Morgan’s boys. Clearly playing for a draw, the home side was contended in beefing up its defense, rarely got a glimpse of its opponent goal but also blocked the goal view for East Bengal.

The defensive tactics frustrated East Bengal players till the solitary goal, with a huge slice of luck, came along its way. Today’s victory ensure that the Kolkata club maintains its 23 matches unbeaten run and the first full 3 points in I-League.

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