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Cuttack, May 9 (IANS) East Bengal rode on a brace from striker Robin Singh to defeat Chennai City FC 2-0 in a Group A match to register their first win in the ongoing 38th edition of the Federation Cup at the Barabati Stadium here on Tuesday.
Robin Singh (45+1, 76th minutes) showed excellent goal poaching skills by capitalising on some poor defending in first half added time to give East Bengal the lead before converting a penalty in the second half.
The Kolkata giants now have four points from two matches.
Chennai City FC slumped to their second defeat of the tournament and find themselves at the bottom of the table.
East Bengal pressed for an early goal and almost took the lead in the sixth minute when Narayan Das’s header was cleared off the goal line after Chennai City FC goalkeeper Karanjit Singh had come out of the line to punch away a dangerous cross.
Seven minutes later, Robin Singh’s left footed shot from 25 yards brought out a world class save from Karanjit to keep Chennai City FC in the game.
East Bengal turned on the style and piled pressure on the Chennai defence line courtesy of attacks led by Robin Singh from the front and Wedson Anselme from the wings.
Chennai City FC soaked in the pressure and gave away very little space in midfield to keep East Bengal at bay.
With the teams entwined in a battle of possession, it took a mistake from Chennai City FC for East Bengal to take the lead.
In the dying seconds of the first half, Robin Singh capitalised on a poor clearance from the Chennai City FC defence and scored from inside the box to give East Bengal the lead going into half-time.
Chennai City FC looked more comfortable on the ball once the second half kicked-off and attacked with fluidity. In the 53rd minute, their right back Debabrata Roy’s free kick rattled the East Bengal crossbar.
In the 72nd minute, Karanjit made a good save to deny Robin’s header from close range.
The referee awarded a penalty to East Bengal in the 76th minute when Chennai City FC defender Dharmaraj Ravanan committed a handball inside the penalty box.
Robin Singh stepped up to score from the spot and double East Bengal’s lead.