Time and again, Yusif Yakubu has proved to be East Bengal’s talisman. That he is also capable of summoning super-human efforts was unknown before Friday.
Even news of bereavement couldn’t keep the 31-year-old off the field as he scored two goals to lead East Bengal to a 3-2 win over Churchill Brothers in their 11th round I-League match, bringing an end to the Goans’ unbeaten run in the League.
Even more ironical was the fact that Yakubu scored his 100th goal in Indian football on a day that started with news of his mother’s death back home in Ghana. “I came to know about her death today morning but I had to play anyway. I dedicate this effort to her memory,” he said.
Ogba Kalu scored the first goal but East Bengal came back stronger, scoring through Yakubu. Fed by a Bhutia through, Yakubu placed the ball past Churchill custodian Arindam Bhattacharya. A defensive helped Reisengmei Vashum put Churchill in lead again. Nearing the lemon break, East Bengal equalised when Yakubu headed in Alvito’s centre from the left flank. Near the hour mark, Bhaichung Bhutia headed home the winner.
Air India back to winning ways
Gordon D’Costa adds from Mumbai: Air India returned to winning ways by eking out a 2-1 win over Salgaocar at the Cooperage.
The win broke a run of five defeats, including a loss in the Federation Cup, for the airmen. Agnel Colaco (42) and Vijith Shetty (79) found the net for Air India while Avneet Singh
(26) pulled one back for Salgaocar.