Bhutia strike sinks East Bengal

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Kolkata, Jan 21 (UNI) A double strike from Mohun Bagan captain Baichung Bhutia sunk East Bengal further into the relegation zone during their 12th round encounter of the I-league football here today.

Injury to its Brazilian striker Edmilson Marques seemed to be hitting East Bengal hard as was evident in the match. Bhutia and Jose Ramairez Barreto combined to get the opening goal in the 29th minute.

In the 62nd minute, Bhutia capitalised on the relative weakness of the red-gold defence to take the game away from their rivals.

With this they also completed five consecutive wins against East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Mohun Bagan was reduced in number almost immediately after the start of the second session losing its Brazilian midfielder Douglas Da Silva, who received his second booking, in the 48th minute.

But the team warded off the apparent disadvantage and doubled its lead to ensure full three points in the end. The win consolidated Mohun Bagan's stay in the fourth position with 20 points from 12 encounters.

The loss compounded problems for East Bengal, remaining in the relegation zone (on just eight points) losing its eighth match in 12 rounds.

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