KOLKATA: East Bengal registered their first of the ongoing 2018/19 Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ campaign after beating West Bengal Police 2-0 on Monday at East Bengal Ground.
Goals from Lalrindika Ralte (14′) and Kassim Aidara (38′), in the first-half put the Red and Golds in firm command and it proved to be a comfortable win in front of their rapturous home supporters as West Bengal Police never hinted at any threat of a comeback.
East Bengal looked in the mood from kick-off and West Bengal Police keeper Soumava Ghosh was kept busy as he made saves from Laldanmawia Ralte and Lalrindika in the opening 10 minutes.
The breakthrough came in the 14th minute when Kassim robbed defender Subrata Biswas of possession before surging forward and laying the ball off to Lalrindika, who obliged with a clinical finish.
West Bengal Police had a couple of half chances to get back into the game, but although Kishore Mallick and Surajit Bose drew saves from Rakshit Dagar, the East Bengal shot-stopper was not overly-worked.
But this was to be Kassim’s day, most certainly not Subrata’s, after the West Bengal Police defender again conceded possession and was left watching as Lalramchullova raced goal-wards in the 38th minute before rolling in a pass for Kassim, who finished neatly through the legs of Soumava to double the advantage.
East Bengal remained in control after the break and Lalrindika was not far away from catching Soumava off his line in the 48th minute with a typically audacious shot from outside the box.
Soumava was called into action again just after the hour mark when he kept out substitute Bidyashagar Singh at the near post.
West Bengal Police had a couple of moments on attack, but the Red and Golds defense was in uncompromising mood and it was East Bengal who had the next chance when Samad Ali Mallick burst through on goal with 10 minutes to play and took the ball around Soumava, only to be denied a shot when defender Pradip Hembram got back and made a brilliant tackle in the box.
With their fans in full voice, sensing the first victory of the season is on the way, East Bengal saw out the final few minutes in style as they played keep-ball in the final few minutes of the game to take home full three points.
East Bengal would take on Calcutta Customs next on August 10, 2018 at East Bengal Ground.