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East Bengal fly, Bagan stumble

East Bengal put Sunday's derby loss behind them to register their biggest win in top-flight football on a day Mohun Bagan stumbled against United SC at home.

sports Updated: Nov 23, 2011 23:00 IST
HT Correspondent

East Bengal put Sunday's derby loss behind them to register their biggest win in top-flight football on a day Mohun Bagan stumbled against United SC at home. East Bengal thrashed HAL 8-1 in a seventh round I-League match in Bangalore on Wednesday but Mohun Bagan caved in to the relentless pressure by the purple shirts to lose 2-3 as Dempo continued to lead the points table with a convincing 5-0 win against Shillong Lajong FC in Margao.

Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey marked his return from serving a double booking with four goals against a hapless HAL who could only pull back one, through Hamza in an early penalty. This was the third time East Bengal scored five goals or more in the national league. Their previous best wins were 6-1 against Air India in last-year's I-league and 5-0 against Tollygunge Agragami in 2004-05.

In Kolkata, United SC were profligate but that didn't matter in the end as Mohun Bagan, despite taking the lead twice, never were in any shape to defend. Yusif Yakubu, who scored a brace, only completed the formalities with some scintillating stuff with his feet, making Mohun Bagan huff and puff but not even getting near him.

Dempo opened up a six-point lead at the top of the table after demolishing Lajong FC 5-0 in Margao. They are now three wins away from equalling Mohun Bagan's record of winning 10 matches in a row in the 2008-09 season.

Dempo led led 3-0 at the breather with a brace of goals from Anthony Pereira and one from Nigerian striker Koko Sakibo. In the second half, Ranty Martins and Clifford Miranda added to Lajong's misery. In another match, Mumbai FC shocked Sporting Clube de Goa 2-1 in Pune.