East Bengal returned to their winning ways by thrashing Gokulam Kerala FC 3-1 in an I-League match at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday. Brandon Vanlalremdika (4th minute), Jobby Justin (14th) and Lalram Chullova (82nd) were on target as the Red and Gold brigade secured their first win on home soil this season.
In the 58th minute, Ghanaian striker Christian Sabah pulled one back for Gokulam Kerala FC tapping the ball into an open net after goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar was caught napping. This was East Bengal’s third win from six matches to be on nine points, as they climbed past their bitter foes Mohun Bagan on goal difference ahead of their December 16 clash here.
Gokulam too remained on nine points, having played a match extra. There were ugly scenes at the middle of the pitch in the 78th minute when Guilherme Batata brought down Lalrindika Ralte who reacted angrily and head-butted the former but only to escape with a yellow card.
Smarting from a hat-trick of defeats, East Bengal started their campaign on a rousing note with Vanlalremdika slotting the ball home to the far post after being fed by Jobby Justin in front of the boisterous fans.
Jobby doubled the lead after raiding the box from the left. It was Lalrindika Ralte who sent a through ball down the left flank and the Kerala forward did no mistake. Chullova sealed the issue with a fine finish after Lalrindika ran down the middle of the park with the ball before setting up the former.