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East Bengal cakewalk past HAL
July 31, 2003 21:23 IST
Kolkata giants East Bengal extended their fantastic ASEAN Cup winning streak to the domestic circuit, crushing Hindustan Aeronautics, Bangalore, 5-0 to enter the Tata Federation Cup quarter-finals in Kolkata, on Thursday.
The nippy Bijen Singh and Chandan Das scored a brace each while Dipankar Roy found the target once for the winners, who looked unstoppable despite resting a number of key players including star striker Baichung Bhutia, in the completely one sided Salt Lake stadium clash.
While central defender Deepak Mondal, striker Mike Okoro, midfielder Shasthi Duley and lateral back Sur Kumar Singh were rested because of injury, Bhutia was kept out of action considering the poor ground conditions.
"The condition of the ground has become really bad due to rains. We cannot risk Bhutia on such a surface," a club official said.
Striking up a good rhythm from the outset, East Bengal made use of the two flanks to perfection, as Alvito D'Cunha, Dipankar Roy, Douglas da Silva and S Malsawmtluanga repeatedly tore apart the rival defence while Bijen posed constant threat to the HAL penalty box.
Raman Vijayan was the only one who looked completely off-colour and muffed up two gilt-edged opportunities before he was replaced by Chandan Das early in the second half.
The Red and Gold brigade will now face Vasco Sports Club, Goa, on August 4 for a place in the last four.