Kannur (Ker), Jan 18 (PTI) A formidable East Bengaloutfit edged out a fighting Viva Kerala by a solitary goal inthe I-League match played at the Jawahar Municipal stadiumhere today.
The all important winner for Bengal side was scored byAustralian star forward Tolgay Ozbey in the 39th minute.
The Kerala outfit had only themselves to blame for theloss, as they missed a number of scoring chances with theirforward Nigerian Felix Chimoko in particular fumbling twoconsecutive opportunities in the first half.
In the 27th minute, Felix with the East Bengal goalkeeperSandeep Nandi at his mercy, drove the ball out and fiveminutes later he was again the culprit after failing tocontrol the foul-kick which flew over the cross-piece.
However, in the 39th minute, much against the run of theplay, East Bengal drew first blood, which later turned out tobe the winner. The spadework for the goal was done by SanjuPradhan, who backpassed the ball to Ozbey to tap it inside thecage, much to the delight of his team members.
The second half witnessed an even contest with both theteams going all out for the goal. East Bengal could haveconsolidated their position in the 55th minute, but theirforward Ugaokpara shot wide off the goalpost.
With time running out, Viva increased the pace of thegame and came close to scoring the equaliser, but they wastedtwo openings in the final five minutes of the match withsubstitute Murugappa and Sabith failing to find the target.
PTI COR TKK ARP SHN