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Easy for East Bengal

June 20, 2003 22:16 IST

Holders East Bengal began their title defence in style, derailing Eastern Railway 4-1 in the Kolkata Super Division football league on Friday.

Playing on their home ground, the winners maintained supremacy all through and opened up a 3-0 lead by the breather through goals from Surkumar Singh, Debjit Ghosh and Baichung Bhutia.

Henry Odogo pulled one back for the losers after the breather, before Surkumar could score his second goal late in the encounter.

The match began in sensational manner as the red and yellow brigade struck in the 45th second.

Pint-sized medio Sasthi Duley fed Bhutia, who essayed a fine pass to an overlapping Surkumar Singh. Surkumar, who returned to East Bengal after a year's hiatus, unleashed a power-packed shot which went in off a railway defender.

East Bengal made it 2-0 in the 38th minute. Surya Bikash Chakraborty centred for Debjit Ghosh, who joined East Bengal after a year-long stint with Mahindra United, and the medio headed into the net.

Continuing in the same vein, East Bengal again found the target three minutes later, with Bhutia directing into the goal a Duley long cross.

Changing over, Nigerian Odogo, the only foreigner in the railway ranks, reduced the margin with a rasping 20-yarder, which entered the net in the 62nd minute.

Finally, in the 80th minute, Surkumar Singh again slotted home to make the final scoreline 4-1.

Tollygunge Agragami's match against Railway Football Club at the Rabindra Sarobar ground was abandoned in the 19th minute of the first-half due to rain.

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