Wedson Anselme scored a hat-trick as East Bengal crushed hosts Minerva Punjab FC 5-0 at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Sunday. With this win, the Kolkata giants are on 13 points from five matches to be at the top.
East Bengal dominated the I-League debutants Minerva toying with the defence as Wedson started the goal-glut with a strike in the ninth minute of the match.
Wedson pulled off a stunner converting a Lalrindika Ralte cross from right with clinical precision to find back of the net. The goal knocked the wind out of Minerva as the hosts failed to recover from this early jolt.
Ten minutes later hosts had their first clear cut opportunity to equalise but Ivan Filatov fumbled inside the box. As East Bengal gathered momentum, Willis Plaza came close in the 17th minute with his header flying just over the bar.
Plaza made amends in the 40th minute when he converted from a cross from Rahul Bheke. Thereafter, Minerva pressed hard and had their fair share of opportunities but could not score.
In the second half, East Bengal came out trying to press home the advantage. The relentless pressure paid off as the Red and Gold brigade netted three more to complete the rout.
The Red and Gold brigade were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute when Arashpreet handled the ball inside the box. Anselme stepped in and made no mistake in converting from the spot to pull East Bengal ahead by three goals.
In the very next minute, Robin Singh added another one. Wedson Anselme then completed his hat-trick and also rounded off the winners tally with a strike in the 66th minute of the match. A pass from Plaza opened up Minerva defense as Wedson tucked it neatly past the goalkeeper to make it 5-0 in East Bengal’s favour.
With this win East Bengal notched up three points and jumped to the top of the league table with 13 points, thanks to their better goal difference over the arch-rivals Mohun Bagan. Winless Minerva Punjab FC on the other hand are at the bottom of the table with one point.