Shillong Lajong FC edged past Sikkim United FC 2-1 at round 19 of I-League, widening the gap to seven points ahead of the latter.
Lajong outwitted their opponent from the first whistle as Sushil Kumar Singh's ball hit the cross bar to send a chill down their rival's spine.
While it took sometimes for the visitors to match their opponent's attack, none of the team could score in the first half.
In the second half of the match, Sikkim United changed their game tactics and dominated the first 20 minutes of the game.
It was Linekar Machado though who opened the account in the 20th minute which silenced the 5000 odd spectators.
The conceding of a goal forced Lajong's Thangboi Singto to replace Jibon Singh with P C Lalhimthara who eventually equalised the score in the 33 minute of the second half.
From then on, Lajong did not look back as they dominate the remaining proceeding of the match.
Japanese striker T Matsuke netted the winning goal in the 45 minute of the match, much to the roaring of the home crowd and disappointment of the visitors.
"I was disappointed with the refereeing. I am angry. We were killed by stupid decision of the referee," an agitated Australian coach Nathan Hall of the United Sikkim told reporters at the post match conference.
He said he did not deserve the result while believing that his 11 players worked really hard for at least a point.
With this win, Lajong improved their standing in the table to hold 10th position and steered seven points ahead of their rival.
Matsugae was awarded man of the match for displaying high level of commitment to the game and for contributing to the winning team.
I-League: 10-man EB edge past Arrows 2-1
A 10-man East Bengal edged past resilient Pailian Arrows 2-1 in a 19th round of the I-League encounter at Kalyani Municipal Stadium, in Kalyani on Saturday.
With this win, East Bengal are perched atop the table with 39 points from 19 matches while Arrows stayed back on 19 points from 18 matches.
The joy of getting to the top of the table might be shortlived for East Bengal as Churchill Brothers are only a point behind them but having played two matches less.
The match was decided in the first half where the red-and-gold brigade found their goals from Nigerian Edeh Chidi, who scored a penalty, and Lalrindika Ralte and overtook Arrows, who had got the lead through Alwyn George.
The only notable incident in the second half was the ejection of substitute forward Manandeep Singh in the 75th minute, after which East Bengal endured the remaining time with 10 men and conserved the lead to ensure the full quota of points.
Substitutes save face for Dempo against Mumbai FC
Substitutes Peter Carvalho and Koko Sakibo scored late in the second half to help Dempo hold Mumbai FC to a 2-2 draw in the 19th round of the I-League, played at Duler stadium, Mapusa, in Mapusa on Saturday.
Mumbai FC, who looked better of the two sides scored a goal in each half through Evans Quao (40th) and N D Opara (67th) and appeared all set to win before two late goals from substitutes Peter Carvalho (83rd) and Koko Sakibo (89) helped Dempo snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
With this draw, Dempo take their points tally to 35 from 18 matches, four points adrift from East Bengal who moved at the top of the table with 39 points displacing Churchill Brothers to second place.
Mumbai now have 26 points from 18 matches.
Salgaocar beat Pune FC 2-0
Salgaocar beat Pune FC 2-0 in a 19th round I-League match , in Pune on Saturday.
Francis Fernandes struck twice in the 2nd & 45th minute respectively to settle the tie in the visitors’ favour.
With this loss Pune FC, stay jointly on 4th place with 30 points from 17 games while Salgaocar stay 11th with 17 points from 18 games.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men in the final moments of the game after defender Gurjinder Kumar received marching orders.