Kolkata, Mar 1 (UNI) East Bengal's dismal form continued as they were beaten 0-2 by Mahindra United in the IFA Shield today, while Dhaka Mohameddan Sporting and Churchill Brothers played out a goalless draw.
Playing at Barasat, the traditional East Bengal bastion, the red-gold side showed flashes of briliance early in the first half before they were bulldozed into defending by the Mumbai outfit.
In the time between the 20th and 30th minutes of the match, Mahindra laid siege to East Bengal defence and forced five corners in a row.
The first goal came seven minutes later as Yusuf Yakubu pulled the two stoppers Majek Bolaji and Anupam Sarkar with him to flick the ball to Md Rafi.
All Rafi had to do was to beat the red-gold keeper which he did with elan.
The second goal came after a horrendous defensive lapse. Edward Menza and Yakubu played a few passes between them before sending the ball to the left for Rafi.
Rafi overlapped into the rival defence with Sur Kumar Singh nowhere in sight. Then he sent a measured centre that saw Yakubu volleying home into the upper right corner of the goal (2-0).
East Bengal's backbone was broken.
To make the matters worse, Bolaji, who was injured, was first substituted with Meherajuddin Wadoo. But the player was all at sea as a stopper and in the second half Edmilson was replaced by M Suresh to bolster the defence.
By then East Bengal was only planning to save further embrassasment and not score and win.
In another match played at the Howrah Municipal Stadium, Dhaka Mohameddan Sporting and Churchill Brothers finished with a goalless draw.
Both sides played with safety first on their mind and the dull match finished without a bang.
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