Rodrigues nets a crucial winner for reigning champions
East Bengal maintained their one-point lead at the top of the Hero I-League table after a 2-1 vitory over Shillong Lajong at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday. Christopher Payne netted a first-half brace and Aser Dipanda Dicka pulled one back for the hosts as the Red and Gold Brigade came away with three points.
Aizawl FC also maintained the pressure at the top of the table courtesy of a 2-0 win against Mumbai FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl. Kamo Bayi proved to be the difference for the north-eastern outfit, netting in the 65th and 78th minutes to hand his side maximum points.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan succumbed to a surprise 2-1 defeat at the hands of Churchill Brothers at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa. The Mariners took the lead in the first-half after Prabir Das (Atlético de Kolkata) got on the end of a delightful cross from Sony Norde (Mumbai City FC). However, second-half goals from Anthony Wolfe and Chesterpoul Lyngdoh helped the hosts complete a stunning comeback.
Elsewhere, Chennai City played out a 1-1 draw against DSK Shivajians at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. Haroon Fakhruddin Amiri gave the southerners the lead three minutes before half-time. DSK though struck back through Shane McFaul’s equaliser deep into second-half stoppage time.
Reigning champions Bengaluru FC got back to winning ways thanks to a 1-0 victory against Minerva Punjab at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana. Lenny Rodrigues (FC Pune City) headed in the solitary goal of the game in the 17th minute to give his side a much-needed win as well as a big boost to confidence. The win saw Bengaluru climb to 4th on the table with 16 points.
They now trail East Bengal, Aizawl and Mohun Bagan, who occupy the top three positions with 27, 26 and 21 points respectively. The bottom of the table sees Mumbai FC and Chennai City languishing in 9th and 10th positions with nine points each.