Kozhikode, Feb 17 (UNI) Averting the danger of relegation from first division football, East Bengal defeated Viva Kerala 3-1 in the penultimate round of the ONGC I-League here today.
With today's win, the Kolkata club, which enhanced its tally to 18 points from 17 encounters, confirmed a berth in the next premier league sealing the fate of Viva Kerala.
Capitalising on a free kick, Capt Syed Rahim Nabi opened the account through a header for the guest in the 20th minute.
Viva, which put up stiff resistance thereafter for some time, earned an equaliser through Ebin Rose connecting a right flank cross from K V Lalu in the 43rd minute.
Utilising a centre circle pass from Capt Nabi, Alvito D' Cunha scored in the 58th minute, increasing East Bengal's score to 2-1.
The final blow for Viva came from Edmilson Marques when he brilliantly connected a pass from Capt Nabi just before the last whistle taking the final tally to 3-1.
Capt Nabi was declared man of the match for his outstanding performance.
Viva Kerala will next-meet Dempo in the 18th and final round here on February 23.
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